(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "American River National Recreation Area feasibility study"

BLM LIBRARY 





U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
Bureau of Land Management 
California 



Final 



September 1990 



AMERICAN RIVER 
National Recreation Area 
Feasibility Study 




BLA4 LIBRARY 
BLDG 50, ST-H 
DENVER FEDERAL CENT 

P.O. BOX 25047 
DENVER, COLORADO 80225 



As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most ot our nationally owned 
public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and 
wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment 
of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their 
development is in the best interest of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation 
communities and for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. administration. 



BLM-CA-AE-90-001 -831 



^;r; oj.: 



Final i<Wo 



AMERICAN RIVER 

National Recreation Area 
Feasibility Study 



September 1990 



U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 
California State Office 

2800 Cottage Way 
Sacramento, CA 95825 



Executive Summary 

American River National 
Recreation Area Study 

Introduction 



In 1989, Congress directed the Bureau of Land Man- 
agement (BLM) to conduct a one-year study on the 
feasibility of designating a National Recreation Area 
(NRA) on the American River in California. 

To accomplish this objective, BLM began contacting as 
many interested or affected groups, agencies, and 
individuals as possible. Through these and other 
sources, all available data were gathered on the area, 
its managing agencies, its resources, and its uses. A 
Steering Committee and Executive Committee, 
composed of elected officials, agencies, and others 
knowledgeable about the area, helped to provide BLM 
with important information and also served as a 
"sounding board" during the study preparation. 

Four public hearings were held, and more than 9,000 
responses were generated during the public participa- 
tion stage. A summary of these comments is included 
later in this report, and references to changes made in 
the draft as a result of this public input are found 
throughout the study. 

BLM has now completed the job it was assigned and is 
transmitting this final study to Congress. Any subse- 
quent questions or comments may be addressed to the 
State Director, BLM, California State Office, 2800 
Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, telephone (916) 
978-4746. 

National Recreation Areas 

Before summarizing the purpose, findings, and study 
conclusions, it may be helpful to describe what an NRA 
designation means. According to a 1988 Congres- 
sional Research Service (CRS) report, Congress 
began designating NRAs in 1964, even though they 
had been administratively established by federal land 
management agencies since 1936. Today, there are 
34 designated NRAs across the country, including 
three in California: Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity NRA, 
Golden Gate NRA, and Santa Monica Mountains NRA. 

NRAs range from areas where the primary focus is 
high-density recreation use to areas where resource 
protection is the primary management focus. How- 



ever, CRS notes, "Each Act designating an NRA is 
unique, tailored to the characteristics of the area, the 
general management philosophy of the administering 
agency, and the determinations of the Congress as to 
what other activities (and their extent) may be allowed." 

Purpose of the Study 

Congressional direction on the purpose of the Ameri- 
can River study was clearly stated in House Report 
101-120 that accompanied Public Law 101-121. BLM 
was to prepare a study "for the purpose of determining 
the feasibility and desirability of designating a National 
Recreation Area (NRA) within the American River 
watershed in association with a flood control or multi- 
purpose dam located at or near the site of the Auburn 
Dam." 

The House Report language expanded on that direc- 
tion by specifying four key points: 

• the study "shall assume the potential floodability of 
the NRA as a result of the construction of a multi- 
purpose dam or the eventual enlargement of a 
facility built primarily or exclusively for flood control 
in the near term;" 

• the study "shall include the 42,000 acres desig- 
nated as the total property to be taken by the 
original Auburn Dam on the North Fork of the 
American River;" 

• the study "may include additional lands contiguous 
to the 42,000 acres, upstream to Euchre Bar within 
the U.S. Forest Service, and along the South Fork 
of the American River from Salmon Falls bridge on 
Folsom Lake to Chili Bar;" 

• the study "shall define the best relationship be- 
tween the NRA and the existing Nimbus/Folsom 
complex and the Lower American River." 

During the public comment period, concern was raised 
among some elected officials in the area that an NRA 
designation would preclude the construction of a multi- 
purpose dam at Auburn. To address this concern and 
further clarify the study's purpose, the primary spon- 
sors of the study, Congressmen Vic Fazio and Robert 
Matsui, issued a letter dated July 16, 1990 stating, 
"..we will not act or support Congressional action on an 
NRA unless it is in the context of Sacramento's entire 
flood control program. The NRA will not go first." 

BLM has closely adhered to the study guidelines set by 
Congress, and has limited its report to addressing the 
feasibility of the American River as an NRA. BLM does 



not make a recommendation on the desirability of such 
a designation. With no public consensus on the 
desirability issue, it is clearly a question for Congress, 
working with the various agencies, elected officials, 
and the public to decide. 

During the course of this study, BLM was fortunate to 
receive assistance and information from the several 
agencies involved in managing portions of the Ameri- 
can River, including county, state, and other federal 
entities. All are managing their portions to benefit the 
public and the resources. However, it is BLM's obser- 
vation that more coordination among these agencies 
would provide even greater benefits. This coordinated, 
interagency approach to land management has been 
very successful in other parts of the State toward 
enhancing resource values. BLM recommends such 
an approach be taken on the American River, regard- 
less of the outcome of this study. 

Criteria for Designation of National 
Recreation Areas 

The study describes in detail the criteria that have been 
used in the past by agencies evaluating the suitability 
of an area for NRA designation. The most frequently 
used and consistent criteria were developed by the 
National Park Service in 1978 and were used in this 
American River study. These are: 

1 . "National Recreation Areas should be spacious 
areas containing outstanding natural and/or cultural 
features and providing significant recreation 
opportunities. 

2. "National Recreation Areas should be located and 
designed to achieve comparatively heavy recre- 
ation use and should usually be located where they 
can contribute significantly to the recreation needs 
of urban populations. 

3. "National Recreation Areas should provide recre- 
ation opportunities significant enough to assure 
national, as well as regional visitation. 

4. "The scale of investment, development, and 
operational responsibility should be sufficiently high 
to require either direct Federal involvement or 
substantial Federal participation to assure optimum 
public benefit." 

Public Involvement 

BLM widely distributed the draft study for public 
comment. Three public hearings were planned 
(Auburn, Sacramento, Placerville) and a fourth was 



added in Shingle Springs because of an overflow 
crowd at the Placerville hearing. All hearings were 
transcribed and a copy of the transcripts are transmit- 
ted to Congress with this study. Written comments 
were also received and are available for public review 
at the BLM's office in Folsom. 

BLM received a total of 9,400 responses (i.e. letters, 
testimony, postcards, petitions, etc.) and tallied more 
than 15,000 comments from these responses on the 
study. A summary of these responses is included in 
Chapter 7 and excerpts from detailed comments are 
included in Appendix A. 

The process used, called content analysis, aims at 
objectively describing the responses for use by the 
decision makers. No "weight" is assigned to any one 
input; all responses are considered equal. That is, a 
resolution from a county board of supervisors is equal 
to one response, as is a postcard from an organized 
campaign. Therefore, the numbers are only an 
indicator of the level of response; readers are advised 
to carefully examine the written as well as tabular 
information to see the broad spectrum of public 
comments and judge for themselves the importance of 
a particular comment. BLM has facilitated this review 
by capturing as many names, agencies, groups, etc. as 
well verbatim quotations and portraying them in the 
text of Chapter 7. 

As evidence of the significance of the dam alternative 
issue and the NRA desirability issues, 97 percent 
(14,772) of the comments addressed these topics. 
Only three percent (295) of the comments specifically 
addressed BLM's study on the feasibility of the area to 
be designated an NRA. However, all these comments 
were carefully analyzed for Congress' use. The 
comments that specifically addressed the study were 
used as much as possible in preparing this final 
version and references to these comments are shown 
throughout the report. 

Study Findings and Conclusions 

On the upper three segments, (North Fork Wild River, 
Auburn Project, South Fork) the BLM's study findings 
indicate that they fully meet all the NRA eligibility 
criteria. BLM's direction from Congress was to study 
and define their best relationship to the lower two 
segments (Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and the 
American River Parkway.) 

The upper three segments are sufficiently spacious, 
have an abundance of outstanding natural and cultural 
features, and offer a wide variety of recreational 
opportunities. They lie within and adjacent to a fast- 



growing metropolitan area of more than a million 
people and within a short drive of many more millions. 
They provide the types of recreation most in demand 
by local residents, while at the same time offering 
qualities to attract visitors from a distance. They have 
the potential to provide even more public benefits 
under an NRA designation. 

Following the established NRA criteria, the combina- 
tion of these three segments possesses all the quali- 
ties envisioned by the federal government in the NRA 
concept, perhaps conforming even more closely than 
many already established NRAs. 

If Congress were to add the Folsom Lake SRA and the 
American River Parkway to the potential NRA, these 
segments would significantly enhance the American 
River's eligibility as an NRA for all the established 
criteria. 



Finally, the BLM was unable to draw any conclusions 
on the issue of desirability. The public comments 
received clearly show a wide divergence of opinion on 
whether the affected agencies, elected officials, and 
public groups favor such a designation. It is also 
evident that the various opinions are heavily influenced 
by the flood control or dam debate ongoing in the area 
during preparation of this study. If the issue of a dam 
alternative were resolved, it is possible a public con- 
sensus on an NRA could be reached or at least public 
opinions could be clarified on the NRA issue alone. 
Since this situation did not exist during the preparation 
of this study, the BLM cannot make a sound recom- 
mendation on the issue of desirability and feels that 
Congress, once the dam issue is resolved, should work 
with the federal, state, and local agencies and groups 
involved to reach a decision. 



IV 



Table of Contents 



Executive Summary i 

CHAPTER 

ONE INTRODUCTION 1 

Authority for Study 1 

Purpose of the Study 1 

Scope of the Study 3 

Description of the Study Area 4 

Alternatives to Be Studied 6 

Public Involvement and Concerns 7 

CHAPTER 

TWO NATIONAL RECREATION AREA ELIGIBILITY 1 1 

National Recreation Area Background 11 

Formal Criteria for NRA Designation 14 

Application of Criteria 15 

Spaciousness 15 

Outstanding Features 15 

Significant Recreational Opportunities 17 

Anticipated Heavy Use 18 

Meets Needs of Urban Populations 19 

Qualities Significant Enough to Draw Regionally and Nationally 20 

Need for Federal Involvement 21 

Evaluation of Eligibility 21 

CHAPTER 

THREE RECREATION COMPARISONS BY WATER ALTERNATIVES 23 

Introduction 23 

Description of Study Segments 23 

North Fork Wild River Segment 23 

Auburn Project Segment 24 

South Fork Segment 26 

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Segment 28 

American River Parkway Segment 28 

Physical Description of Inundation by Dam Alternatives 31 

Flood Control Only Detention Dam 31 

Multi-Purpose Auburn Dam 31 

Effects on Recreation Under Inundation Scenarios 31 

Flood Control Only Detention Dam 31 

Multi-Purpose Auburn Dam 32 

Analysis by Water Alternative 34 

Considerations in Assessing an American River NRA by the Water Options 35 

Analysis by Segment 35 



CHAPTER 

FOUR OVERVIEW OF MANAGEMENT 37 

Introduction 37 

Present Land Management and Regulatory Jurisdiction Within the Study Area 37 

Land Management and Regulatory Jurisdiction by Segment 40 

North Fork Wild River Segment 40 

Auburn Project Segment 40 

South Fork Segment 43 

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Segment 43 

American River Parkway Segment 43 

Agency Mission Statements 44 

Federal and State 44 

County and Local Mandates 54 

NRA Management Alternatives 55 

Single Agency 55 

Multi-Agency 56 

CHAPTER 

FIVE EFFECTS OF NRA DESIGNATION 59 

Land Acquisition 59 

Private Land Regulation 61 

Land Value Effects 61 

Economic Implications 62 

Recreation 62 

Protection and Management of Other Resources 63 

CHAPTER 

SIX SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 67 

Conclusion 68 

CHAPTER 

SEVEN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND CONTENT ANALYSIS 69 

Background 69 

Analysis Process 70 

Description of Responses 71 

Content Analysis 73 

REFERENCES 79 

APPENDIX A „ 81 



VI 



N 
\ 




erican River 
Rk Study 



Colfax ® f 



North Fork Wild River Segment 
Auburn Project Segment 
miD South Fork Segment 
ES3 Folsom Lake SRA Segment 
(Hi American River Parkway Segment 



EUCHRE BAR 

North Fork 
American River 



OXBOW 



Middle Fork 
American River 




South. Fork . 
American River 

CHILI BAR 

Placerville <§> 



SALMON FALLS BRIDGE 



Sacramento 



Sacramento 



American River Parkway 



20.8 



SCALE 1 •• 500000 
MILE 



20.8 



Q 



3 hH E 



20.8 



20.8 KILOMETER 



VII 



VIII 



Chapter One 



Authority for Study 

The authority for this study is stated in House Report 
101-120 that accompanied Public Law 101-121 
(October 3, 1989), the appropriations legislation for the 
Department of the Interior and related agencies for 
Fiscal Year 1 990. As part of the budget for recreation 
resources management, $300,000 was included for a 
study of the feasibility of a possible National Recreation 
Area (NRA) on the American River in California as a 
cooperative effort, conducted by the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM). 

Purpose of Study 

The purpose, conditions, and extent of this study are 
explicitly stated in Public Law 101-121. In the lan- 
guage of the House Report, the study is 

"....for the purpose of determining the 
feasibility and desirability of designating a 
National Recreation Area (NRA) within the 
American River watershed in association 
with a flood control or multi-purpose dam 
located at or near the site of the Auburn 
Dam. Such a study shall assume the 
potential floodability of the NRA as a result 
of the construction of a multi-purpose dam 



or the eventual enlargement of a facility built 
primarily or exclusively for flood control in 
the near term; shall include the 42,000 
acres designated as the total property to be 
taken by the original Auburn Dam on the 
North Fork of the American River; may 
include additional lands contiguous to the 
42,000 acres, upstream to Euchre Bar 
within the U.S. Forest Service, and along 
the South Fork of the American River from 
Salmon Falls bridge on Folsom Lake to Chili 
Bar; and shall define the best relationship 
between an NRA and the existing Nimbus/ 
Folsom complex and the Lower American 
River." 

The rationale behind the study is presented in the 
remarks of Congressman Vic Fazio, who stated in 
the Congressional Record (H 361 1 July 12, 1989) that 
it was 

"....essential that the study of the national 
recreation area in the American River 
watershed be funded in fiscal year 1990 in 
order for the information to be available to 
the Sacramento community in the same 
timeframe as the information generated by 
two separate studies currently being 
conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation 



and the Army Corps of Engineers on 
options for expanding flood protection to the 
Sacramento community. The Bureau of 
Reclamation study will be completed 
sometime in the summer of 1990 and the 
Army Corps of Engineers study is expected 
to be completed in September 1990. The 
BLM study will be completed by the end of 
fiscal 1990 as well. 

The results of this study are essential for the 
Sacramento community to make an in- 
formed decision about which of the up- 
stream flood control options proposed by 
the Bureau and the Army Corps of Engi- 
neers is most appropriate. The NRA study 
will generate information that will show the 
value of the land and other resources that 
would potentially be either occasionally 
inundated by a flood control only/dry dam or 
largely inundated by a multipurpose dam...." 

The study's purpose was further clarified by remarks, 
also contained in the Congressional Record {H 3655 
July 12, 1989), made by Congressmen Shumway, 
Fazio, and Matsui: 

Mr. Fazio: "We don't know if an NRA 
proposal is or is not compatible with the 
various flood control options, including the 
multipurpose options. That's what the study 
is to determine. It is not intended to bias the 
debate toward or against a multi-purpose 
project or an expandable dry dam option in 
any way." 

Mr. Shumway: "The study, then, is not to 
look at whether an NRA is preferable in lieu 
of a multipurpose dam, but rather only looks 
at the possibility of an NRA in conjunction 
with a multi-purpose dam or an expandable 
flood control dam which is inundated in its 
second stage." 

Mr. Matsui: 'This study does not envision 
that an NRA would be designated at cross 
purposes to any of the flood control options 
including a multipurpose project. Indeed 
there are a number of Bureau of Reclama- 
tion multipurpose projects which have 
NRA's designated in association with them, 
such as Shasta and Lake Berryessa." 

During the public comment period, concern was raised 
among some elected officials in the area that an NRA 
designation would preclude the construction of a multi- 
purpose dam at Auburn. To address this concern and 



further clarify the study's purpose, the primary spon- 
sors of the study, Representatives Vic Fazio and 
Robert Matsui, issued a letter dated July 16, 1990 
stating, "..we will not act or support Congressional 
action on an NRA unless it is in the context of 
Sacramento's entire flood control program. The NRA 
will not go first." 

The purpose of the current study can best be under- 
stood with some reference to the background of the 
Auburn Dam Project. In 1965, the Auburn-Folsom 
South Unit of the Central Valley Project was authorized 
by Public Law 89-161 . The principal facilities autho- 
rized by this statute were Auburn Dam and the Folsom 
South Canal, although other, smaller dams were also 
included. As described by the authorization, Auburn 
Dam was to span the American River about three miles 
below the confluence of the North and Middle Forks. 
The proposed double curve concrete arch dam was to 
have a structural height of 685 feet (Bureau of Recla- 
mation, 1972), impounding a maximum of 2.3 million- 
acre-feet of water and containing a 300 megawatt 
electrical generating powerplant. In operation, the dam 
was to provide water, power, and flood control capac- 
ity. It also would have helped stabilize the fluctuations 
of Folsom Reservoir, located immediately downstream, 
and would have provided the central feature of a new 
State Recreation Area. 

Acquisition of the required project lands began in 1966, 
access road construction began in 1967, and construc- 
tion of the dam commenced in 1974. In 1975, while 
the dam foundation was under construction, the 
Oroville earthquake increased concerns over the issue 
of reservoir-induced seismic activity. Because of the 
proximity of the dam site to a geologic fault, a public 
review of the proposed dam's safety was conducted, 
and construction was halted when the foundation was 
complete in 1978. The Secretary of the Interior 
decided on December 30, 1980, that a safe dam could 
be constructed at the proposed Auburn dam site, if the 
dam was of concrete gravity design rather than the thin 
concrete double arch style of the original proposal. In 
the meantime, however, the rules for cost-sharing on 
this type of project had changed, and no sponsor for 
the project's non-federal shares was available. As a 
consequence, work on the Auburn project, even 
though still authorized, was suspended. 

The potential flood control function of the Auburn Dam 
was abruptly brought into focus in February 1986, 
when a series of major winter storms caused record- 
breaking flows down the American and into Folsom 
Reservoir. The objective release from Folsom Dam of 
1 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) was exceeded for 
one day, reaching a maximum of 130,000 cfs. As a 
result of this flood exceeding design capacity, there 



was damage to the levee system of the lower Ameri- 
can River, and many low-lying areas were endangered. 

A statistical analysis conducted in 1961 had indicated 
that Folsom Dam, operated with 400,000 acre feet of 
storage reserved for flood control and a maximum 
outflow of 1 15,000 cfs, was capable of controlling all 
flows up to the 1 20-year flood. A subsequent analysis, 
conducted after the 1 986 flood, indicated that the 
reservoir can control flows only to about the 63-year 
flood with releases of 1 15,000 cfs. 

The importance of finding a solution to this problem 
was underscored by Corps of Engineers estimates that 
more than 350,000 people and more than $16 billion 
worth of property are located within the newly-delin- 
eated 200-year flood plain. Following up on the Corps' 
work, the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA) in November 1989, adopted new maps 
designating a greatly enlarged area for a 100-year 
flood in Sacramento. The new flood plain maps could 
have had significant economic consequences, as 
Sacramento's ability to participate in the National Flood 
Insurance Program would have been severely limited. 
However, in 1988 special legislation was enacted that 
prohibited FEMA from using the new flood plain 
mapping to impose new flood insurance rates and 
extended the existing rates for up to four years. During 
this period, the Sacramento community was to work 
toward achieving flood protection. 

The Corps of Engineers has developed a number of 
flood control alternatives that will provide, at a mini- 
mum, the FEMA-mandated 100-year level of protec- 
tion. Among the alternatives proposed were measures 
increasing the flood control storage in Folsom Reser- 
voir, lowering the spillway of Folsom Dam, and increas- 
ing the channel capacity of the lower American in order 
to handle a higher objective release. However, the 
major entities involved in mapping a strategy for flood 
protection (City and County of Sacramento, State of 
California Department of Water Resources, and the 
local Congressional delegation) decided that a mini- 
mum of a 200-year level of protection was more 
appropriate for a metropolitan area where flooding 
would cause catastrophic losses. By letter dated 
September 7, 1990 the COE indicated "The only dam 
alternatives to be considered in the final array of plans 
are a minimum-protection plan (200 year) and the NED 
(National Economic Development) Plan." 

Most water experts agree that a high level of flood 
protection can only be achieved by providing flood 
control storage space on the American River above 
Folsom Reservoir. An additional 550,000 acre-feet of 
storage could provide a 200-year level of protection. 
This storage could be provided at numerous locations 



along this stretch of river; however, the Corps' and 
other studies have identified the site near Auburn as 
the most physically and economically feasible. 

The authorized multi-purpose Auburn Dam Project, 
discussed earlier, would provide 250,000 acre-feet of 
new flood control storage if completed, but construction 
cannot proceed without local sponsors. Consequently, 
the Corps has outlined alternatives involving smaller- 
sized dams to be constructed at or near the Auburn 
dam site that would provide the required flood-control 
storage. These alternative designs, described in detail 
later in this chapter, vary in function and in terms of 
benefits provided beyond flood control. 

Concern over the effects of any alternative dam on 
recreational opportunities is one of the issues being 
considered during the study process. The dam's 
potential effects and the opportunity to provide for 
preservation or enhancement of recreational resources 
in the context of a dam project provide the central 
purpose for this NRA feasibility study. 



Scope of Study 



Following this introductory chapter, the body of the 
report is covered in six additional chapters. 

Chapter Two addresses the eligibility of the defined 
area, in general, for NRA status, through the applica- 
tion of established NRA criteria. 

Chapter Three identifies the dam alternatives, defines 
the study area segments, and analyzes the area for 
NRA status under each alternative, through analysis of: 
1) availability of recreational opportunities and pres- 
ence of recreational attributes; and 2) amount of 
protection afforded significant cultural and natural 
features. 

Chapter Four considers issues relating to: 1) current 
land and recreation management of the study area; 2) 
the agencies responsible for present management and 
potentially available for future management; and 3) 
cooperative management approaches in existing 
NRAs. 

Chapter Five deals with potential effects of an NRA 
designation. 

Chapter Six summarizes the findings of this study. 

Chapter Seven provides a summary and analysis of 
the public hearing testimony and written input received 
during the course of the study. 



Many comments were received that went beyond the 
scope of the study. Some comments referred to the 
need for an Environmental Assessment or Environ- 
mental Impact Statement, an expanded discussion of 
habitat values and habitat improvement projects, 
eligibility of the area under the National Wild and 
Scenic River Act, the river as a water supply source, 
the benefits of wildlife, expansion of the geologic 
features within the canyon, water rights and flood 
control, etc. 

Although the study was not intended to focus on the 
pros and cons of the various water development 
alternatives, more than 90 percent of the comments 
received addressed this issue. The comments favoring 
a multi-purpose dam focused on flood control, water 
supply, increased reservoir based recreation opportuni- 
ties, hydro-electric power generation, water storage, 
and the fear that designation would impede the con- 
struction of a multi-purpose dam. Comments opposed 
to the multi-purpose dam included the concern for 
seismic hazards, changes in the natural environment 
including wildlife and its habitat, cultural and natural 
resources, mining within the river corridor, decrease in 
Whitewater recreation opportunities, loss of equestrian, 
hiking and sightseeing opportunities, the free flowing 
rivers, realignment of trails, and the exorbitant cost of 
construction. 

Only two percent of respondents commented on the 
pros or cons of a flood control dam. 

Comments were also received relating to the develop- 
ment of a management plan, such as recreation 
development, habitat improvement projects, improved 
trail systems, and management responsibilities. 

Description of Study Area 

The study area includes: 1) the 42,000 acres within 
the authorized Auburn Dam project; 2) contiguous 
BLM-administered and National Forest lands upstream 
along the North Fork of the American River to Euchre 
Bar - both those within the 1/2-mile-wide Wild and 
Scenic River corridor and adjacent lands within the 
river viewshed; 3) publicly owned lands and lands with 
public easements along the South Fork of the Ameri- 
can from Salmon Falls Bridge to Chili Bar; 4) the 
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, including Lake 
Natoma; and 5) the American River Parkway from 
Nimbus Dam to Discovery Park. 

in total, this area comprises about 81 ,000 acres, 
covering approximately 1 27 square miles. From the 
area's northeast corner at Euchre Bar to its southwest- 
ern corner in downtown Sacramento is 57 air miles. In 



overall extent, the area measures a maximum of 44 
miles north-south by 41 miles east-west. The area 
includes land within the cities of Sacramento and 
Folsom in Sacramento County, and Auburn in Placer 
County. It is within one mile of the communities of 
Colfax and Foresthill, also in Placer County. In El 
Dorado County, the area is about two miles from the 
community of Georgetown and the same distance from 
the City of Placerville, the county seat. The area lies 
immediately adjacent to both Interstate Highway 80, a 
major east-west transcontinental route, and U.S. 50, 
the other major trans-Sierra Nevada route in the area. 
Bisecting the area is State Route 49, the principal 
north-south highway of the Sierra Foothills. 

From the western shore of Folsom Lake downstream 
to its confluence with the Sacramento River at Discov- 
ery Park, the American River flows through an area 
that has been fully developed for residential, commer- 
cial, and industrial uses. This area is entirely built- 
over, and with the exception of the county-adminis- 
tered American River Parkway, it is almost entirely in 
private ownership and given over to high density use. 

East of Folsom Lake, in the lower foothills of the Sierra, 
the cities of Auburn and Placerville are commercial and 
industrial centers with a high density of residential use. 
Other communities in these portions of Placer and El 
Dorado Counties (Foresthill, Colfax, Georgetown, 
Lotus, etc.) have limited commercial areas, little 
industrial use, and a moderate residential density. The 
rural areas are characterized by low-density residential 
use, along with the traditional uses of mining (now 
limited mainly to a few mineral materials) and agricul- 
ture (limited by a scarcity of suitable land to some 
grazing, irrigated pasture, and raising of orchard/ 
vineyard crops). In these lower foothill areas are found 
the majority of the two counties' populations, most of 
which are in the category of "rural nonfarm." Publicly- 
owned land in this area is dominated by the 26,000 
acres acquired for the Auburn Dam project, but scat- 
tered BLM-administered lands are also present, 
concentrated along the North Fork and in the vicinity of 
Iowa Hill. 

At the eastern margin of the study area, in the upper 
foothills, the growing of commercial timber is the 
principal land use. Residential use is slight, and 
commercial land use is small. Although some of the 
timber land is in private ownership, the majority of land 
is part of the Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests and 
is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. 

Topographically, the study area encompasses terrain 
ranging from the nearly-flat floor of the Sacramento 
Valley, at an elevation of less than 100 feet, to the 
upper foothills of the Sierra Nevada, at an elevation of 



about 4,000 feet. The Sierra topography is a result of 
geological upheaval followed by weathering and 
erosion. Through these processes the American River 
drainage has been incised into a tilted fault block that 
slopes gently from east to west. The resulting picture 
is that of a gently rolling upland dissected by deep, 
steep-sided, V-shaped canyons. 

Major erosion channels are the deeply-incised North, 
Middle, and South Forks of the American. Between 
these steep canyons are the rolling to flat-topped 
ridges of the Foresthill and Georgetown Divides. On 
the South Fork, there is a limited area of rolling, rather 
than canyon, topography adjacent to the river in the 
vicinity of Lotus and Coloma. 

The three forks of the American River comprise a 
major drainage basin with a generally mountainous 
watershed that extends to the crest of the Sierra 
Nevada at its eastern limit. Headwaters of the primary 
streams are located at the extreme eastern limits of the 
basin at elevations above the 7,000 foot level. This 
places a good deal of the drainage in the snowshed 
areas, and close to half the annual runoff is contributed 
by melting snow. This situation sustains spring runoff 
well beyond the period of precipitation and into the late 
spring and early summer. By midsummer, however, 
flows drop quickly and remain low until the precipita- 
tion-sustained flow begins again in late fall or early 
winter. 

Water flow in the major forks is, to some extent, 
regulated by a series of reservoirs in the South and 
Middle Fork drainages. These dams were designed 
with power generation as their primary function and 
have limited utility for flood control. Typically, the minor 
drainage basins in the study area depend directly on 
precipitation to sustain their flows, with the result that 
the bulk of the seasonal runoff occurs in winter and 
early spring, with summer flows being low to nonexist- 
ent. Water quality of the American River is high, and is 
suitable for agricultural, industrial, and recreational use, 
and, with treatment, for domestic use. 

The climate of the study area is characterized by 
generally moderate temperatures with cool, wet winters 
and hot, dry summers. Weather systems typically 
move across the area from west to east, and storms 
moving inland from the Pacific during winter are the 
primary source of precipitation. There is considerable 
variance in the amount of total annual precipitation, but 
most (90 percent) falls from November to April, with 
nearly half received during a 60-day period in winter. It 
is rare for there to be any measurable rainfall during 
the summer months, and there is usually not any 
significant winter snow below the 2,000-foot elevation. 



Total annual precipitation is about 30 inches at Folsom 
Lake, 35 inches at Auburn, 40 inches at Placerville, 
and 50 inches at Foresthill. 

Corresponding to the seasonality of rainfall, humidity is 
usually more than 65 percent during winter and spring, 
and less than 50 percent in summer and fall. Summer 
high temperatures average in the 90 degree Fahren- 
heit levels and commonly exceed 100 degrees; 
average low temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. 
Winter average highs are in the 50s with lows around 
freezing. The frost-free season (last to first frost) at 
Auburn averages 275 days. 

Prevailing winds are from the southwest, usually 
resulting in light and variable flows in the canyons. 
Although some haze is typically visible in the canyons, 
air quality is generally high; the local phenomenon of 
ozone exceeding allowable federal standards is largely 
attributable to its transport via wind from the populous 
Sacramento Valley. 

Although the study area downstream from Folsom 
Dam bears little resemblance to its natural state, in the 
Sierra foothills native vegetation predominates. At 
lower elevations, the oak woodland community domi- 
nates the landscape. It is typified by open stands of 
oaks, interspersed with grasses and herbaceous 
growth, with buckeye and laurel found in the moister 
areas. Heading east through the study area, chaparral 
is first encountered in the vicinity of Auburn. This 
association is common on dry, steep slopes with poor, 
thin soils at elevations of 1 ,000 feet to 4,000 feet. 

This study area is a fire-oriented biotic community, 
manifested as a thick growth of evergreen shrubs such 
as manzanita, chamise, ceanothus, and toyon; digger 
pine is also commonly associated. Continuing east and 
ascending in elevatbn, one finally enters the yellow 
pine forest. In its purest state, this is a continuous 
forest dominated by ponderosa pine, incense cedar, 
Douglas-fir, and sugar pine. This biotic community is 
most commonly found at 2,000-foot to 4,000-foot 
elevations and is often intermingled with chaparral. 
The riparian vegetation of the stream courses (wild 
grape, blackberry, willow, alder, cottonwood, sedges, 
etc.) cross-cuts all these zones. 

A number of songbirds, resident gamebirds (quail, wild 
turkeys), migratory birds (mourning doves, bandtailed 
pigeons), and migratory waterfowl (mallards, mergan- 
sers), are found in the area. Large mammals include 
deer, black bear, and cougar. Small mammal species 
include rabbits and gray squirrels, with predators 
represented by coyotes, gray foxes, river otters, 
bobcats, raccoons, skunks, and weasels. 



Warm summer water temperatures in the South Fork 
have resulted in the bulk of the fishery being comprised 
of non-sport species (squawfish, sucker, hardhead), 
though a few sportfish (rainbow and brown trout) may 
be found in the deeper holes. The principal gamefish 
of the North and Middle Forks are rainbows, browns, 
and smallmouth bass, though the usual assemblage of 
non-game species are also present. Folsom Lake 
contains rainbows, bass, sunfish, and catfish, and 
similar species are found in Lake Natoma. The Lower 
American supports an important anadromous fishery 
including Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, striped bass 
and American shad, and is established as an "out- 
standingly remarkable feature" (National Park Service, 
1983). Commonly sighted reptiles and amphibians 
include newts, salamanders, frogs, toads, lizards, and 
snakes. 

The study area is rich in history reflecting its prominent 
role in California's gold rush era. Prehistoric Native 
American archeological sites are rarely found in the 
river canyons, and when present, they are usually 
manifested only as grinding rocks. This could be due 
to lack of Native American habitation, or equally likely, 
it could be that grinding rocks were the only type of 
prehistoric site durable enough to withstand the 
destructive forces of periodic flooding and the ravages 
of nineteenth century gold mining. Two prehistoric 
sites currently listed on the National Register of Historic 
Places are located along the American River Parkway 
segment of the study area. 

Gold was first discovered in California in 1848 at 
Coloma, now a State Historic Park, a location within 
the study area on the South Fork. Almost immediately 
a frantic search for the yellow metal was pursued into 
the adjacent forks of the American. In the four de- 
cades following the discovery, all streams in the study 
area had been thoroughly mined by increasingly 
efficient techniques. The attractiveness of this area to 
miners, and the intensity of mining that went on here, is 
documented by the fact that, at one time during the 
gold rush, the Middle Fork of the American had the 
highest population density in California. 

The physical evidence of all this activity is reflected 
today in the abundance of historical remains through- 
out the study area. Types of features found include 
those directly related to mining, such as mines, pros- 
pects, tailings, dams and ditches, as well as those 
indirectly related such as the remains of towns, camps, 
cabins, roads and bridges. 

The lower American, from its confluence with the 
Sacramento upstream to Nimbus Dam, is a federal and 
state Wild and Scenic River, with immediately adjoining 
lands operated jointly by the City and County of 



Sacramento as the American River Parkway. A 
number of locations along the Parkway are developed 
as urban parks, and a nationally-renowned bike trail 
runs its length. Floating the river is a very popular 
summer pastime. Upstream of Nimbus is Folsom Lake 
State Recreation Area which includes both Lake 
Natoma, a small afterbay reservoir with developed 
facilities especially well-suited for rowing activities, and 
Folsom Lake, a reservoir with 1 1 ,500 acres of surface 
area formed by the construction of Folsom Dam in 
1955. The shore of Folsom Lake is well-supplied with 
campgrounds, picnic areas, boat ramps, beach facili- 
ties, and trails. The reservoir receives heavy, though 
somewhat seasonal, use. 

The Auburn Dam project lands on the North and 
Middle Forks upstream from Folsom are managed by 
California Department of Parks and Recreation as 
Auburn State Recreation Area. Within this unit is a 
boating facility at Lake Clementine, as well as eques- 
trian trails, picnicking areas, and primitive campsites. 
Whitewater rafting is a popular seasonal pastime, 
though overall use of the area is much lighter than in 
the downstream parks. The South Fork upstream from 
Folsom Lake is one of the most popular Whitewater 
rafting rivers in the country, and includes Marshall Gold 
Discovery State Historic Park at Coloma. Total 
recreation within the study area is estimated in excess 
of seven million user-days annually. 

Alternatives to be Studied 

The authorizing legislation directed this study to 
"assume ... construction of a multi-purpose dam or the 
eventual enlargement of a facility built primarily or 
exclusively for flood control," and to use options 
described in the Corps of Engineers December 1989 
Information Paper on Alternatives, American River 
Watershed, California. These options were developed 
for the minimum locally-desired level of flood protec- 
tion, i.e., the 200-year flood event. Subsequent investi- 
gations have found that the plan which provides the 
greatest net benefits, termed the "NED" plan, has a 
level of protection significantly greater than the 200- 
year event. This NED plan will be recommended to the 
Congress for construction unless the local sponsors 
request something different. This could be less than 
the NED plan or higher, if the non-federal sponsors are 
willing to pay for 100 percent of the added costs. 

1 ) Flood Control Only Detention Dam. 

This would be an approximately 480-foot high 
flood control detention dam of concrete gravity 
design, constructed by roller compaction 
techniques. It would have a curved axis align- 



ment for seismic considerations and would be 
located downstream of the existing Auburn Dam 
foundation to avoid known faults. The dam 
would have a flood control capacity of 545,000 
acre-feet, but there would be no permanent 
reservoir pool behind the dam, giving this 
alternative its common name - the "dry dam." 
On occasions when winter storms caused a 
high rate of inflow, the dam would temporarily 
back up water. It is estimated that, on the 
average, once every five years the reservoir 
would fill to elevation 518 feet and require about 
a week to fully drain. Less often, there would be 
longer periods of inundation, and in the event of 
a 200-year flood, the reservoir would fill to 
elevation 870 and require approximately three 
weeks to completely drain. Year-round access 
to, and use of, the canyons would still be 
feasible. For operation of the flood control only 
dam, 18,000 acres of land would be required in 
fee or easement, including 4,000 acres still 
needed to be acquired. Additional lands ob- 
tained by the Bureau of Reclamation for the 
authorized Auburn Dam but not required for the 
flood control project would be retained in their 
existing public ownerships. 

2) Multi-purpose Authorized Auburn Dam Project. 

Under the current authorization, this would be a 
685-foot high conventional concrete gravity dam 
with straight axis alignment. Total storage 
capacity would be 2.3 million acre-feet, with 
620,000 acre-feet of this capacity reserved for 
flood control. The associated power plant would 
have a generating capacity of 300 megawatts, 
and water supplies to Placer, El Dorado, 
Sacramento and San Joaquin counties would 
be enhanced. Maximum reservoir pool eleva- 
tion would be about 1 ,130 feet, although there 
would be considerable fluctuation below this 
level. When full, about 10,000 acres of land 
would be inundated, covering 48 miles of 
stream channel in the forks of the American. To 
enable completion of this project, the 26,100 
acres of land already acquired would be re- 
tained and additional lands would be added to 
bring the total to the 42,000 acres originally 
authorized. 

Public Involvement and 
Concerns 

To inform the public about the purpose, goals, and 
progress of this study, a number of presentations was 



made to various individuals and organizations. These 
are listed below: 



DATE OF 
BEEFING 



ORGANIZATION BRIEFED 



8/23/89 

8/30/89 

9/01/89 

10/03/89 

10/10/89 

10/11/89 

10/12/89 
10/13/89 
10/25/89 
10/26/89 



10/27/89 
11/02/89 
11/02/89 
11/06/89 
11/06/89 
11/13/89 
11/20/89 
11/22/89 

12/05/89 



12/12/89 

12/14/89 

12/15/89 

1/12/90 

1/17/90 

1/18/90 

1/23/90 

1/24/90 

1/29/90 

1/30/90 
1/30/90 

2/09/90 

2/15/90 
2/28/90 
3/01/90 
3/06/90 

3/07/90 
3/07/90 
3/12/90 

3/13/90 

3/14/90 
3/19/90 

3/27/90 
4/06/90 
4/09/90 
4/10/90 
4/16/90 
4/30/90 
5/25/90 



Tahoe National Forest Management Team 
Corps of Engineers Study Management Team 
Eldorado National Forest Management Team 
Mike Schaefer, Bureau of Reclamation 
Auburn Dam Council - Executive Board 
Business Industry Development Committee of 

Auburn 
American River Authority 
Auburn Dam Council - Membership 
American River Coalition 
Corps of Engineers Executive Committee - also 

present SWIM, SAFCA, City and County of 

Sacramento 
Congressman Fazio Staff 
Corps of Engineers Staff 
American River Land Trust 
Dave Cruz, Corps of Engineers 
Don Fox, National Park Service, Yosemite 
State Parks - American River District 
Tahoe National Forest Management Team 
California State University-Sacramento Students - 

Environmental Field Studies Class 
American River Coalition - including representatives 

of Friends of the River, Sierra Club, California 

Native Plant Society, Protect American River 

Canyons, Western River Guides Association, Cal 

Trout, Audubon Society 
Eldorado National Forest Management Team 
County of Sacramento 
California State University, Sacramento 
Goldhounds/Mother Lode Miners 
Public Meeting - Placer County Auburn, California 
Ilia Collin - Sacramento County Board of Supervi- 
sors 
Public Meeting - Sacramento County Sacramento, 

California 
Public Meeting - El Dorado County Placerville, 

California 
Brief Bill Carl - Sacramento Bee Janie Wong - 

Sacramento Bee - Roseville 
Colfax City Council 
Tom Sloan - California Department of Water 

Resources, Division of Flood Management 
Jeff Harris, Administrative Assistant to Congressman 

Fazio 
Congressman Fazio NRA Update 
NRA Steering Committee 
Bea Cooley - American River Coalition 
Jeff Harris, Administrative Assistant to Congressman 

Fazio 
Steve Shiflett, California Water Resources Board 
Andy Grow, Aide to Grantland Johnson 
Telecon with Mike Fluty, Placer County Board of 

Supervisors 
Telecon with Ilia Collin, Sacramento County Board 

of Supervisors 
NRA Executive Committee Meeting 
California Department of Parks and Recreation 

Director and Staff 
Placer County Board of Supervisors 
NRA Steering Committee Meeting 
Sacramento Chamber of Commerce Meeting 
El Dorado County Water Agency Meeting 
NRA Executive Committee Meeting 
Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency Meeting 
Gordon Van Vleck, Secretary, California Resources 

Agency 



DATE OF 




BRTEIFING 


ORGANIZATION BRIEFED 


5/30/90 


Interview with Ken Payton - Sacramento Bee - NRA 




Update 


5/30/90 


Interview with Jim De Peso - Tahoe Daily Tribune - 




NRA Update 


5/31/90 


Corps of Engineers 


6/06/90 


Interview with Chris Davis - KZAP Radio Station - 




NRA Update 


6/08/90 


Interview with Gus Thomson - Auburn Journal - NRA 




Update 


6/11/90 


Telecon with Karen Shambach - FAWN - NRA 




Update 


6/13/90 


Interview with Ben Fields - City Sports Magazine - 




NRA Update 


6/14/90 


Interview with Tom Daly - Georgetown Gazette - 




NRA Update 


6/21/90 


Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency - NRA 




Update 


6/21/90 


Placer County Water Agency - NRA Update 


6/22/90 


Telecon with Monty Knudson - Fish and Wildlife 




Service -NRA Update 


6/25/90 


Interview with Rich Reed KFBK - NRA Update 


6/26/90 


Public Meeting - Placer High School -Auburn, 




California 


6/28/90 


Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department 




Commission - NRA Update 


7/02/90 


Interview with John Sammon - Mountain Democrat - 




NRA Update 


7/05/90 


Public Meeting - Sacramento County Board of 




Supervisors Chambers - Sacramento, California 


7/05/90 


Interview with Jim Thomas - Channel 31 -NRA 




Update 


7/10/90 


Public Meeting - Placerville Inn - Placerville, 




California 


7/16/90 


Telecon Jeff Harris - Congressman Fazio Office - 




NRA Update 


7/16/90 


Telecon with Mike Dunn - U.S. Bureau of Mines - 




NRA Update 


7/17/90 


Meeting American River Coalition, Fish and Wildlife 




Service, American River Land Trust, State Parks - 




Cool - NRA Update 


7/19/90 


Public Meeting - Ponderosa High School -Shingle 




Springs, California 


8/27/90 


Executive and Steering Committees Meeting 


9/07/90 


Executive and Steering Committees Meeting 



Two advisory committees were also formed. The 
Executive Committee, whose function was to review 
and comment upon the report, consisted of: 

Ed Hastey, State Director 
Bureau of Land Management 

Lawrence Hancock, Regional Director 
Bureau of Reclamation 

Col. Jack A. LeCuyer, District Engineer 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Stanley T. Albright, Western Regional Director 
National Park Service 

Cathy Kennard, Deputy Secretary of Operations 
State of California, Resources Agency 

Paul Barker, Regional Forester 
U.S. Forest Service 

Grantland Johnson, Chairman 

Board of Supervisors, Sacramento County 

George Beland, Chairman 

Board of Supervisors, Placer County 

Robert Dorr, Chairman 

Board of Supervisors, El Dorado County 

Congressman Robert Matsui 
3rd Congressional District 

Congressman Vic Fazio 
4th Congressional District 

Congressman Norman Shumway 
14th Congressional District 

Senator John Doolittle 
1 st Senatorial District 



More details about the public participation aspects and 
a summary of comments received can be found in 
Chapter Seven. 

The general public was informed of these same 
matters by the distribution of press releases and 
information packages sent to local newspapers, radio, 
and television stations in the three county (Sacra- 
mento/Placer/El Dorado) area. A newsletter on the 
progress of the study distributed to all individuals and 
organizations indicating a desire to be on the mailing 
list also helped to keep the public informed. 



Senator John Garamendi 
5th Senatorial District 

Senator Leroy Greene 
6th Senatorial District 

Assemblyman Tim Leslie 
5th Assembly District 

Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly 
6th Assembly District 

Assemblyman Norman Waters 
7th Assembly District 



Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg 
1 0th Assembly District 

A Steering Committee, designed to take a more active 
role in the study process by meeting periodically to 
gather and analyze data, review studies, review public 
comments, ascertain facts, and provide counsel to the 
study team, consist of: 

Gary Bilyeu, Forest Planner 
Eldorado National Forest 



are summarized below. (This summarization does not 
"count" or tally opinions on whether there should or 
should not be a dam, which is not at issue in this NRA 
study.) 

1 . A number of people stated that the inundation of 
the canyons and loss of free-flowing rivers 
would adversely affect the area's biological 
diversity, natural values, environmental educa- 
tion potential, and numerous recreation opportu- 
nities. 



Rick Carunchio, Assistant Director 
Sacramento County, Department of Parks and 
Recreation 

Bill Center 

River Management Advisory Committee 

Dr. Bea Cooley 
American River Coalition 

Bill Edgar, Executive Director 
Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency 

Doc Livingston 
Motherlode Miners 

David Martinez, District Planner 
California Department of State Parks 

Joseph Mehrten 
Auburn Dam Council 

Merritt Rice 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Mike Schaefer 
Bureau of Reclamation 

Ron Stockman 

Mother Lode Goldhounds 

Nancy Stone, National Park Service 
River & Trail Conservation Assistance 

Larry Walrod, Director 

Division of Planning, El Dorado County 

Fred Yeager, Planning Director 
Placer County 

To identify issues of public concern to be considered in 
this study a series of three scoping meetings were 
held: January 17, 1990, in Auburn; January 23, 1990, 
in Sacramento; and January 24, 1990, in Placerville. 
The issues expressed by those attending the meetings 



2. If the area was not inundated and was desig- 
nated an NRA, a number of those commenting 
stated that the benefits could be better resource 
protection, more intensive management, better 
public access, more public enjoyment, and 
additional public financial support. In summary, 
it was stated that NRA designation would be 
beneficial to the population at large, particularly 
those in the area's metropolitan areas. 

3. Some people called the recreational benefits of 
a dam-created reservoir "redundant" and "one- 
dimensional." 

4. A number of those commenting concluded that 
the area obviously meets the NRA eligibility 
criteria. 

5. It was suggested by some that the NRA bound- 
ary be drawn to include adjoining lands of 
special significance. 

6. Several people expressed concern about the 
effects of an NRA on private property within the 
potential NRA boundary. 

7. Another issue raised by other speakers was 
concern about which federal agency would 
ultimately manage the NRA. 

8. Several people stated that construction of an 
interpretive/informational center would encour- 
age public recreation and improve the recre- 
ational experience in the area. 

9. A number of people expressed concern that the 
results of the NRA study would not be consid- 
ered when a decision is made about which dam 
alternative should be authorized. 

1 0. It was suggested by some that the NRA should 
help to stabilize the water level at Folsom 
Reservoir. 



1 1 . Several people stated that the NRA study should 
fully analyze the economic effects of such a 
designation. 

This public meeting information was added to a wide 
variety of data from public briefings, letters, contacts, 
etc. to ensure that all points of view were considered. 

A preliminary draft study report was prepared in April 
1990 for review by the executive and steering commit- 
tees. Comments by the committees were reviewed for 



a May 1990 draft report distributed to the public. Public 
hearings on the draft were held June 26, 1990, in 
Auburn, California, July 5, 1990, in Sacramento, 
California and July 10, 1990, in Placerville, California 
and July 19, 1990 in Shingle Springs, California. 
Transcripts of these hearings, along with all written 
comments received during the draft review period, 
were reviewed and changes integrated into writing of 
the final report. The transcripts and written comments 
are summarized in Chapter Seven. 



10 



Chapter Two 

National Recreation 

Area Eligibility 



National Recreation Area 
Background 

In the Report for Congress - National Recreation Areas 
(1988), the Congressional Research Service summa- 
rized the philosophy and process underlying the 
creation of NRAs: 

"National Recreation Areas (NRAs) have 
been designated by Acts of Congress since 
1964, and were established administratively 
as early as 1936. As first conceived, these 
areas were to provide for high capacity, all 
purpose recreation in pleasant outdoor 
settings on Federal lands. They differed 
from some other Federal land management 
units by focusing upon providing recreation 
opportunities rather than on protection of 
natural resources. Over time, the autho- 
rized uses for new NRAs have changed, 
and the more recent ones emphasize 
resource protection. 

"Lands which Congress has designated as 
National Recreation Areas (NRAs) generally 
allow for several uses, although, as the title 
implies, recreation is the predominate use 
intended for these areas. Each Act desig- 



nating an NRA is unique, tailored to the 
characteristics of the area, the general 
management philosophy of the administer- 
ing agency, and the determinations of the 
Congress as to what other activities (and 
their extent) may be allowed. One can see 
the variability in management and uses 
among the areas [see Table 2-1]. 

"Congress has authorized NRAs to be 
administered by three agencies, the Na- 
tional Park Service (NPS) and the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) of the Depart- 
ment of the Interior (USDI), and the U.S. 
Forest Service (USFS), Department of 
Agriculture (USDA). National Park Service 
NRAs total about 3.5 million acres in 15 
[now 19] units, and the 13 [now 15] adminis- 
tered by the Forest Service total 1 .5 million 
acres. The single NRA administered by the 
BLM (in Alaska) is authorized at approxi- 
mately one million acres. 

"The detail and complexity of management 
policy for National Recreation Areas has 
changed since the cooperative agreement 
between the National Park Service and the 
Bureau of Reclamation put Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area into operation in 



11 



1936. An important step in the evolution 
from cooperative agreements to detailed 
legislation for NRAs came in March 1963 
from the Recreation Advisory Council. The 
council was established by President 
Kennedy in 1962 by Executive Order 
1 1 01 7, and consisted of the Secretaries of 
Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Commerce, 
and Health, Education and Welfare, as well 
as the Administrator of the Housing and 
Home Finance Agency. Policy Circular No. 
1 of the Council set out the 'Federal 
executive branch policy governing the 
selection, establishment and administration 
of national recreation areas.' Policies set by 
the Council were binding upon the member 
Departments and, in the Council's phrase, 
'commended to others.' As an executive 
branch initiative, the document held only 
informational value for the Congress. 

"The Preamble in the Circular outlines 
several qualities for the National Recreation 
Areas including: 

'1 . Provide for Federal investment in 
outdoor recreation that is more clearly 
responsive to recreation demand than other 
investments that are based primarily upon 
considerations of preserving unique natural 
or historical resources, the need to develop 
and conserve public lands and forests, or 
the requirements of major water resource 
development undertakings; 

'2. Be areas which have natural endow- 
ments that are well above the ordinary in 
quality and recreation appeal, being of 
lessor significance than the unique scenic 
and historic elements of the National Park 
System, but affording a quality of recreation 
experience which transcends that normally 
associated with areas provided by State 
and local governments. 

'3. The scale of investment, development, 
and operational responsibility should be 
sufficiently high to require either direct 
Federal involvement, or substantial Federal 
participation to assure optimum public 
benefit. 

'4. Within National Recreation Areas, 
outdoor recreation shall be recognized as 
the dominant or primary resource manage- 



ment purpose. If additional natural resource 
utilization is carried on, such additional use 
shall be compatible with fulfilling the recre- 
ation mission, and none will be carried on 
that is significantly detrimental to it. 

"In summary, criteria purposed in the NRAs 
created by Congress have often differed 
from the 1963 Policy Circular on establish- 
ment and administration of National Recre- 
ation Areas. This seems to be particularly 
true of National Recreation Areas autho- 
rized during the 1980s.' " 

As the above citation makes clear, the means by which 
an NRA is created is through legislative designation. 
The details of this process are summarized by Laurie 
Mitchell in her Discussion Paper - National Recreation 
Area Study (1988) prepared for Mono County, Califor- 
nia: 

"How is a NRA Established? 

"Each NRA is established by an act of 
Congress. NRA legislation establishes the 
boundaries of each NRA and specifies the 
management objectives for that NRA as 
well as who will administer it, and what land 
uses will and will not be allowed within its 
boundaries. Most legislation also includes 
authorization for appropriations for land 
acquisition and development of recreational 
facilities. 

"Legislation for some NRAs is very brief and 
follows a fairly standard format. Legislation 
for other areas is more detailed and tailored 
to the needs of the specific area involved. 
The following section provides an overview 
of existing legislation, summarizes what is 
standard practice for most NRAs, and 
discusses examples of unique approaches 
found in the legislation. 

"Overview of Existing Legislation 

"NRA Objectives 

"This section of the legislation is crucial 
because it determines the manner in which 
the area will be managed. The objectives 
are divided into two sections - a section 
stating the purpose [for which] the area is 
being established, and a section detailing 
the management objectives for the area. 



12 



The first is a general goal while the second 
elaborates on that goal to provide specific 
objectives for the management of the 
recreation area. Some legislation is brief on 
both these points while other legislation is 
much more detailed and site specific. The 
briefer versions follow a standard pattern 
with slight modifications. An example of this 
is taken from the legislation for the Mount 
Baker NRA in Washington: 

"Purpose: 'In order to assure the 
conservation and protection of certain 
natural, scenic, historic, pastoral, and 
fish and wildlife values and to provide 
for the enhancement of the recre- 
ational values associated therewith, 
the Mount Baker National Recreation 
Area. ...is hereby established.' 

"Management Objectives: The 
Secretary is mandated to administer 
the area 'in such manner as will best 
provide for 1) public outdoor recre- 
ation ....; 2) conservation of scenic, 
natural, historic, and other values 
contributing to public enjoyment; and 
3) such management, utilization, and 
disposal of natural resources on 
federally owned lands within the 
recreation area which are compatible 
with and which do not significantly 
impair the purposes for which the 
recreation area is established.' 

"Although all NRA legislation contains the 
broad objectives discussed above and 
provides that managing agency with a 
certain amount of discretion to interpret 
those objectives, some legislation also 
contains more detailed objectives to ensure 
that specific concerns are addressed in the 
management plan. 

"The level of detail in a given piece of 
legislation will depend on the issues and 
concerns raised by local and national 
interest groups as well as on the political 
maneuvering. Although NRA legislation is 
flexible enough to be responsive to the 
needs of a given area this does not occur 
automatically. The sensitivity and foresight 
of those involved in NRA planning deter- 
mine how carefully crafted the legislation is, 
which in turn determines how the area will 
be managed." 



With that paper as a preamble, Table 2-1 summarizes 
a few of the primary characteristics of 34 existing 
NRAs. As the table illustrates, there is considerable 
variance on all the characteristics. In size, the NRAs 
range from Pine Ridge, the smallest at 6,600 acres, to 
Lake Mead, the largest at 1 ,496,601 acres. Broken 
down incrementally, the size distribution is: 

0- 19,000 acres -5 

20- 49,000 acres -10 

50- 99,000 acres -4 

100 -199,000 acres -8 

200 - 999,000 acres - 3 

1,000,000 plus acres -3 

The proportion of acreage in federal versus non-federal 
ownership, within the boundaries of the 23 designated 
NRAs for which data are available, is: 



100% Federal 


-6 


75 - 99% Federal 


-8 


50 - 74% Federal 


-3 


24 - 49% Federal 


-4 


< 24% Federal 


-2 



In location, existing NRAs are relatively evenly distrib- 
uted among the major regions of the country: 

Eastern Seaboard/Appalachia - 8 

Midwest -3 

Prairies -5 

Intermountain/Great Basin - 8 

Pacific Coast -10 

The environmental feature(s) within the NRAs provid- 
ing the primary focus for recreation are: 

Reservoir/Lake - 14 

River -6 

Natural Landscape - 1 1 

Ocean Beach - 3 

Primary land uses surrounding these NRAs and 
providing a setting for the recreational use in each are: 

Urban/Suburban -5 
Rural - 13 
Natural/Undeveloped - 16 



13 



Table 2-1 



NRA NAME 



ADMIN 
AGENCY 



ACREAGE (FED/non-FED) 



PRIMARY RECREATIONAL FEATURES 



SETTING LOCATION 



Allegheny 


FS 


Amistad 


NPS 


Arapaho 


FS 


Bighorn Canyon 


NPS 


Big South Fork 


NPS 


Chattahoochee River 


NPS 


Chicksaw 


NPS 


Coulee Dam 


NPS 


Curecanti 


NPS 


Cuyahoga Nalley 


NPS 


Delaware Water Gap 


NPS 


Flaming Gorge 


FS 


Gateway 
Gauley River 


NPS 


NPS 


Glen Canyon 


NPS 


Golden Gate 


NPS 


Hells Canyon 
Lake Chelan 


FS 


NPS 


Lake Mead 


NPS 


Lake Meredith 


NPS 


Mount Baker 


FS 


Mount Rogers 


FS 


Oregon Dunes 


FS 


Pine Ridge 


FS 


Rattlesnake 


FS 


Ross Lake 


NPS 


Santa Monica Mtns. 


NPS 


Sawtooth 


FS 


Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks 


FS 


Whiskeytown- 


NPS 


Shasta-Trinity 


FS 


White Mtns. 


BLM 


White Rocks 


FS 


Winding Stair 


FS 



23,100 (unavailable) 
57,292 (57,292/0) 
36,235 (36,235/0) 
120,278 (68,485/51,723) 
122,960 (16,860/106,100) 
8,700 (3,627/5,073) 
9,522 (9495/27) 
100,390 (100,390/0) 
42,114(42,114/0) 
32,460 (14,440/18,020) 
66,650 (54,087/12,563) 
185,645 (185,645/0) 
26.3II (20,376/5,935) 
unavailable 

1,236,880 (1,193,671/43,209) 
72,815 (27,197/45,618) 
652,488 (unavail.) 
61,890 (61,135/755) 
1,496,601 (1,468,389/28,212) 
7,768 (unavail.) 
8,600 (8,600/0) 
154,000 (109,000/45000) 
32,150 (unavail.) 
6,600 (unavail.) 
60,000 (unavail.) 
117,574(105,132/12,442) 
150,000 (9,703/140,297) 
756,019 (unavail.) 
100,000 (39,672/60,328) 
42,503 (42,428/75) 
209,554 (164,927/44,627) 
1,000,000 (unavail.) 
3,400 (unavail.) 
48,425 (unavail) 



natural area, undeveloped 

reservoir, watersports 

lakes & reservoirs, watersports 

reservoir, watersports 

free flowing river, natural area 

river, watersports 

reservoir, watersports, mineral springs 

reservoir, watersports 

reservoir, watersports 

riparian environment, natural area 

river, natural area, hiking 

reservoir, watersports 

beaches, marshes 

free-flowing river, Whitewater 

reservoir, watersports 

beaches.historic/cultural.natural 

river, wilderness 

lake, watersports, scenic 

reservoir, watersports 

reservoir, watersports, ORV 

geologic, scenic, hiking, skiing 

scenic, cultural/historic, trails 

beaches, scenic, ORV 

natural area, undeveloped 

natural area, wilderness, trails 

reservoir 

natural area, cultural/historic 

scenic, lakes, wilderness 

natural area, scenic 

reservoir, watersports 
river.scenic, wilderness 
natural area, hiking, wilderness 
scenic, natural area, wilderness 



rural 


PA 


rural 


TX 


natural 


CO 


natural 


MT.WY 


rural 


TN.KY 


urban 


GA 


rural 


OK 


rural 


WA 


natural 


CO 


suburban 


OH 


rural 


PA.NJ 


natural 


UT.WY 


urban 


NY 


rural 


WV 


natural 


AZ.UT 


urban 


CA 


natural 


OR.ID 


natural 


WA 


natural 


NV.AZ 


natural 


TX 


natural 


WA 


rural 


VA 


rural 


OR 


rural 


NB 


rural 


MT 


natural 


WA 


suburban 


CA 


natural 


ID 


rural 


WV 


natural 


CA 


natural 


AX 


rural 


VT 


rural 


OK 



Formal Criteria for NRA 

The first official publication of explicit criteria governing 
NRA selection was contained in "Federal Executive 
Branch Policy Governing the Selection, Establishment, 
and Administration of National Recreation Areas" by 
the Recreation Advisory Council, Circular No. 1, March 
26, 1963. 

In 1978 the National Park Service condensed the 
qualities identified in the 1963 Circular into four specific 
criteria. These criteria are the guiding principles for 
this study. 

1 . "National Recreation Areas should be spacious 
areas containing outstanding natural and/or 
cultural features and providing significant recre- 
ation opportunities." [Identified in this study as 
Criteria 1 A, 1B, andlC.] 

14 



2. "National Recreation Areas should be located 
and designed to achieve comparatively heavy 
recreation use and should usually be located 
where they can contribute significantly to the 
recreation needs of urban populations." [Identi- 
fied in this study as Criteria 2A and 2B.] 

3. "National Recreation Areas should provide 
recreation opportunities significant enough to 
assure national, as well as regional visitation." 
[Identified in this study as Criterion 3.] 

4. "The scale of investment, development, and 
operational responsibility should be sufficiently 
high to require either direct Federal involvement 
or substantial Federal participation to assure 
optimum public benefit." [Identified in this study 
as Criterion 4.] 



A mixture of comments was received concerning these 
NRA criteria used as the guiding principles for this 
study. Some comments said the criteria were too 
broad and vague, while others felt that the criteria were 
well-suited to the study purpose. The criteria are 
consistent with those used by other federal agencies. 

Application of Criteria 

Criterion 1 A - Spacious 

The total area being studied for NRA designation in 
this report includes 81 ,000 acres. Of this total, Auburn 
Dam project segment lands represent 41 ,700 acres; 
lands along the North Fork upstream from Colfax-Iowa 
Hill Bridge represent 10,000 acres (North Fork Wild 
River segment); lands along the South Fork from 
Salmon Falls Bridge to Chili Bar represent 4,400 acres 
(South Fork segment); lands within the Folsom Lake 
State Recreation Area segment represent 19,200 
acres; and lands within the American River Parkway 
segment represent 6,000 acres. 

The upper three segments (Auburn Project, North Fork 
Wild River, and South Fork) in combination meet the 
spaciousness criteria. The likely alternatives of also 
including the Folsom Lake SRA segment or American 
River segment would only increase the margin by 
which the minimum was exceeded. Therefore, how- 
ever Congress might configure an American River 
NRA, it would certainly fall comfortably within the size 
range of existing NRAs and would unquestionably 
meet the criterion of spaciousness. 

Criterion 1 B - Outstanding Features 

As far as natural features are concerned, the predomi- 
nant scenic resources are the canyons themselves. 
This dramatic topography can best be viewed from 
prominence like Pointed Rocks, near Cool, or Lovers 
Leap, which offers a panoramic overlook of many miles 
of the North Fork canyon and which features a 2,400- 
foot sheer drop to the river below. In 1876, Ben Frank, 
editor and publisher of the Dutch Flat Forum, a weekly 
newspaper, wrote about the view from Lovers Leap: 

"Here are the rocks towering above us, and 
we are on the verge of a lofty height, a 
sheer wall below us, down which we glance 
to the chasm 2,600 feet, where houses are 
dots and men are specks on the earth's 
surface. There winds the American river 
like a belt of precious metal as its yellow 
waters glisten in the sun. To the right, and 
the left... the great canyon, dark, hazy, rich 



in foliage, awful in depth and distance, 
opens up to the vision and then diminishes, 
and is lost in its own shadings miles away, 
while the mountains forming its walls rise far 
above and beyond us, the forest on their top 
fringe a new and elevated horizon against 
the sky. It is a glorious scene." 

Many of the tributary streams run into the forks of the 
American at a very steep gradient, creating a situation 
conducive to cascades and waterfalls. These occur in 
many locations. Because the tributaries have, for most 
of the year, a somewhat limited flow, the falls are not of 
large size or sweeping scale. They are, instead, found 
in confined settings, but have significant scenic values. 
The two best known sets of falls are Devils Falls, 
adjacent to Yankee Jims Road on Lower Shirttail 
Canyon, and Codfish Falls, on Codfish Creek just 
above the North Fork downstream from Ponderosa 
Way. 

These tributaries are similar, on a much smaller scale, 
to the topography of the great river canyons. In the 
bottoms of many tributaries, flanking the rocky and 
rapidly-running creeks, are lush growths of diverse 
riparian vegetation. Such areas provide marked 
contrast to the otherwise uniformly dry, brushy slopes 
of the larger area. These special scenic qualities of the 
tributaries are best manifested in Otter Creek, Canyon 
Creek, Dardanelles Creek, and American Canyon - all 
flowing west into the Middle Fork - and Shirttail and 
Indian Creeks, which flow west into the North Fork. 

The many rapids for which the main stems of the 
American are known provide another set of scenic 
features, with Ruck-A-Chucky in the Middle Fork and 
Chamberlain Falls on the North Fork being especially 
noteworthy examples. The Resources Agency of the 
State of California (cited by the Bureau of Reclamation, 
1972) rated nine miles of the North Fork American 
River above Ponderosa Way as having superior 
boating quality and scenic quality. Another type of 
natural feature is represented by Lime Rock, a well- 
known landmark consisting of a prominent limestone 
outcrop, which towers over the North Fork Canyon east 
of Auburn. 

Other outstanding natural features of the study area 
relate to its biological resources. Due to the presence 
of the rivers and the lack of human encroachment, the 
study area supports a biological density and diversity 
far exceeding that of the surrounding uplands. Signifi- 
cant wildlife phenomena are the fall spawning run of 
salmon up the Lower American, the late-winter congre- 
gation of California newts ("Firebellies") in American 
Canyon, and the presence in the study area of large 
colonies of dog-faced butterflies - an unusual occur- 



15 



rence in the Sierra region. Also of biological interest is 
the Anderson Island Heron Preserve in Folsom Lake. 
Standing on Moody Ridge, overlooking the North Fork 
near Lovers Leap, is the largest California black oak in 
the State. With a crown spread and height of about 1 00 
feet, the tree's girth is 29.5 feet - the largest ever 
recorded for this species. The tree's age is estimated 
at 350 to 450 years. 

With regard to cultural features, it was mentioned in 
Chapter One that evidence of Native American occu- 
pation is not abundant in the river canyons. It is well 
known that the rivers provided a focus for many Native 
American activities, but surviving evidence of these 
activities is limited to the presence of grinding rocks at 
several locations. Less durable remains of other types 
have probably been destroyed by mining or flooding. 
Various Native American occupation sites, and other 
types of archeological sites representing a wide range 
of prehistoric activities, are found on the divides, up the 
tributaries, and surrounding Folsom Lake. The upland 
portion of the study area contains frequent occurrences 
of this type of cultural resource. 

Of much greater abundance, however, are the historic 
sites of the study area. The following two sites have 
been designated as National Historic Landmarks: 

Coloma Gold Discovery Site - Gold was first discov- 
ered in California by James Marshall on January 24, 
1848 at this site. This event was a major turning point 
in western American history and played a pivotal role in 
shaping the nation as we know it today. The site is 
now included within Marshall Gold Discovery State 
Historic Park, at Coloma on the South Fork. Along the 
South Fork, historic values relating to the discovery of 
gold and the gold rush era have been established as a 
National Historic Landmark. Also within the park are 
many restored historic buildings, a museum and 
visitors center, the Marshall Monument (erected in 
1890, the oldest state monument in California), and a 
plaque commemorating the Coloma Road (built in 
1847, the site of the first stage line in California). By 
way of many exhibits, the gold discovery, the historic 
technologies of mining, the development of the town of 
Coloma, and the life of James Marshall are interpreted 
for the public. 

Folsom Powerhouse - Located adjacent to Lake 
Natoma within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, 
this hydroelectric facility was a pioneer alternating- 
current generating plant and the site of the first long- 
distance transmission of electricity in the world. Com- 
pleted in 1895, the plant sent power to Sacramento 
through 22 miles of copper wires. Within the historic 
powerhouse structure are turbines, generators, and a 
switchboard. A forebay, penstocks, and other facilities 



are adjacent, while the remains of the canal and dam 
are nearby. The site has a high degree of physical 
integrity and is interpreted to the public by exhibits and 
volunteer docents. It has also been designated a 
National Historic Landmark. 

Many other sites have been identified in previous 
cultural resource studies by the Bureau of Reclamation 
and the Army Corps of Engineers and through review 
of other existing documentation, (California Depart- 
ment of Parks and Recreation (1976), McCarthy 
(1989), True (n.d.). Also reviewed was the California 
Inventory of Historic Resources (1976). With the 
exception of the two sites already noted, none have 
been evaluated for eligibility for the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

The following more commonly known historic sites 
have been identified within the study area: 

Cape Horn - This location on the transcontinental 
railroad east of Colfax provided the railroad builders 
with their first major topographic obstacle. Proceeding 
eastward in 1866, construction was stalled here until 
Chinese laborers introduced pioneering techniques 
that were to be employed for the remainder of the 
alignment through the Sierra. It was only by virtue of 
the ingenuity exercised and the methods developed 
here that construction along the chosen route was 
feasible and the nation could be first linked by rail. 

Horseshoe Bar (including adjacent American and 
Gray Eagle Bars) -During the gold rush, this mining 
camp on the upper Middle Fork was home to Andrew 
S. Hallidie, a young Scottish blacksmith who pioneered 
the use of wire cable in California. Here he first 
employed the cable in ore transport systems and 
suspension bridges, and then went on to later design 
and build the San Francisco cable car system. Horse- 
shoe Bar is also the site of the first bedrock tunnel in 
the state. This tunnel was driven in 1850 to divert 
water from one mile of river bed to allow gold mining. 
Due to faulty design, the scheme failed, but a second, 
larger tunnel built in 1888 still carries the flow of the 
Middle Fork (known today as Tunnel Chute). 

Mountain Quarries Company Railroad Bridge - Built 
in 191 1 , this 170-foot-long, three-span, reinforced 
concrete bridge was the longest concrete bridge in the 
world when it was built. It spans the North Fork below 
the Middle Fork confluence and was part of a seven- 
mile-long private railroad that carried limestone from 
the quarry near Cool to the Southern Pacific in Auburn. 
Despite its innovative design and construction, the 
bridge has proved durable and displays excellent 
physical integrity. The Limestone Quarry itself is also 
an interesting historic site. 



16 



North Fork Dam - This concrete arch dam impounds 
14,600 acre-foot Lake Clementine. Constructed on the 
North Fork in 1939 as part of a system of debris control 
dams, it is the first concrete dam built by the Corps of 
Engineers. 

Stevens Trail - A gold-rush-era toll road connecting 
the communities of Colfax and Iowa Hill via a bridge 
across the North Fork, this trail retains good integrity 
and is still used by hikers. 

Camp Flint - Originally built as a State Relief Agency 
"unemployed camp" in 1932, this site on the outskirts 
of Auburn was eventually used as a prisoner-of-war 
camp for German and Italian prisoners captured during 
World War II; only one original structure remains. 

Dardanelles Hydroelectric Plant - This facility, built 
on the north bank of the Middle Fork in 1901 , was the 
first hydroelectric generating facility in Placer County; it 
has recently been reconstructed. 

Robbers Roost - An alias for Lime Rock on the North 
Fork above Lake Clementine, this location served as a 
lookout for highwaymen terrorizing the Auburn- 
Foresthill Turnpike during the early 1860s; it is associ- 
ated with several colorful local legends. 

Mammoth Bar - Once a major gold-mining camp on 
the Middle Fork, this site was the location of an early 
wire suspension bridge (possibly built by Hallidie) and 
was a major focus for large-scale placer mining. It is 
the site of the first successful use of an hydraulic 
elevator and is the location for one of the earliest 
applications of hydroelectric power in 1888. 

Grand Flume (Louisiana Bar to Murderers Bar) - This 
location on the lower reaches of the Middle Fork was 
home to several large settlements of miners who 
engaged in widespread placer mining during the early 
gold rush. It is the site of the earliest attempt at 
organized, large-scale riverbed mining. During the 
entire summer of 1850, 400 miners cooperated to 
construct a two-mile-long flume of wood and canvas. 
A few days before its completion, an unseasonably 
early flood completely destroyed the structure. 

Other historic sites include: 

■ several gold-rush-era historic roads that are still in 
use as hiking trails (Old Aubum-Foresthill Stage 
Road; Roanoke Trail); 

• a well preserved early nineteenth century gold 
dredge on the Middle Fork ("Doodlebug Dredge"); 



• the South Canal and the North Fork Ditch near 
Folsom Lake, both of which are historically impor- 
tant water transport features; 

• a number of individual historic structures, such as 
Grizzly Bear House (roadhouse) and Butcher Ranch 
(livestock raising) along the Auburn-Foresthill Road; 
and 

• the remains of numerous mines, mine camps, 
mining settlements, mining features, and bridges, 
including many of both documented and undocu- 
mented significance. Those documented settle- 
ments that are of potential archeological significance 
include: American Canyon, Cherokee/Poverty Bar, 
Shirttail Canyon, Bunch Canyon, Oregon Bar, and 
Maine Bar. 

Completion of the Class I literature review for this study 
did not entail a site specific evaluation of the National 
Register eligibility for identified prehistoric or historic 
sites. It is BLM's opinion, based upon the nature and 
location of many of the historic sites, that they would, 
upon completion of the evaluation process, be deter- 
mined eligible for the National Register of Historic 
Places. Although NRA Criterion 1 does not require 
National Register of Historic Places determination, 
there is no question the combination of cultural and 
natural features in the upper three segments (North 
Fork Wild River, Auburn Project and South Fork) met 
the outstanding features criterion. Adding the other 
two segments (Folsom Lake SRA and the American 
River Parkway) would further enhance the NRA's 
outstanding features. 

Criterion 1C - Significant Recreational 
Opportunities 

An in-depth inventory of the study area's recreational 
opportunities is set forth in Chapter Three. The 
summary below covers only selected popular activities. 

Bicycling - The Jedediah Smith National Recreation 
Trail provides more than 30 miles of fully-developed, 
hard-surface bikeway along the American River, 
connecting Discovery Park (Downtown Sacramento) 
with Beals Point (Folsom Lake). Additionally, trails for 
mountain bike use have been designated in both the 
Folsom Lake and Auburn State Recreation Areas. 

Boating 

1 ) Canoeing - Lakes Natoma and Clementine are 
both attractive to flat-water canoeists, while the 
lower portions of the Middle (nine miles) and North 



17 



(four miles) Forks provide challenges for downriver 
canoeing (Class II). The Lower American offers 23 
miles of Class I river. 

2) Powerboating/Waterskiing - Folsom Lake pro- 
vides abundant resources for speedboaters, 
jetskiers and waterskiers; Clementine is also used 
for these activities. 

3) Rafting/Kayaking - The study area provides a 
major resource for Whitewater enthusiasts. Approxi- 
mately 72 miles of Class I through Class V 
Whitewater boating is available, portions of which 
offer "outstandingly remarkable" recreation opportu- 
nities (Nationwide Rivers Inventory 1983). 

4) Rowing - Lake Natoma is in constant use for 
recreational, training, and competitive rowing sports. 

5) Sailing - While some sailing takes place on Lakes 
Natoma and Clementine, it is Folsom Lake that 
provides the most favorable conditions and is best 
suited for serious sailing. Wind surfing is a fast 
growing activity on Folsom Lake. 

Camping - Both State Park units, Folsom and Auburn, 
contain a variety of developed campgrounds as well as 
undeveloped and hike-in sites. 

Fishing - Though limited access restricts use, the 
entire lengths of the North, Middle, and South Forks 
provides fishing opportunities. Folsom Lake supports a 
diverse fishery and is heavily fished, Lakes Natoma 
and Clementine less so. The Lower American's 
anadromous fishery draws great numbers of anglers. 

Horseback Riding - The renowned Western States 
Trail, of which a 50-mile segment extending from Beals 
Point at Folsom Lake to Foresthill has been designated 
a National Recreation Trail, provides a fully-developed 
equestrian route from Foresthill down the Middle Fork 
to Auburn, while the Pioneer Express Trail runs along 
the west side of Folsom Lake, tying into the equestrian 
trail down the American River Parkway. By use of this 
trail system, the rider can travel from Foresthill to 
Sacramento, within the confines of the study area, 
without leaving the saddle. 

Sightseeing - From the vistas of the upper canyons to 
the placid lower American River the area provides a 
myriad of opportunities for scenic viewing, personal 
fitness, photography, waking and relaxing in a natural 
setting. 

Nature Study - The main interpretive center for nature 
study in the area is the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on 
the American River Parkway. This is a full-service 



18 



facility with a variety of community-oriented programs. 
The entire study area, being predominantly a natural 
landscape supporting a native ecosystem, is well- 
suited for nature study. Its proximity to water results in 
biological abundance as well as diversity. 

Gold Panning - The North and Middle Forks within the 
lands withdrawn for the Auburn Project offer one of the 
few local opportunities for recreational gold panning. 
This area allows modem-day "forty-niners" to partici- 
pate in an historically meaningful activity within the 
original gold-rush setting and location. A chance to 
prospect and otherwise engage in historic re-enact- 
ment within the authentic historic setting enhances the 
quality of this recreational experience. 

Picnicking - The developed parks of the Lower 
American River (Discovery, Goethe, Hoffman, etc.) 
offer public picnic areas with full facilities, and Califor- 
nia Department of Parks and Recreation operates a 
number of popular, fully developed picnic areas at 
Folsom Lake. 

Swimming - Along with other types of beach-related 
recreation, this is a popular summertime activity at 
Folsom Lake. A great deal of swimming also takes 
place along the Lower American, at Lake Natoma, and 
along the forks in the canyons wherever there is public 
access. 

The recreation opportunities in the upper three seg- 
ments along (North Fork Wild River, Auburn Project 
and South Fork) meet the significance criterion. An 
NRA encompassing all five segments, by adding the 
Folsom Lake SRA and the American River Parkway, 
would offer even more significant opportunities. 

Summary of Criterion 1 

In conclusion, the upper three segments (North Fork 
Wild River, Auburn Project and South Fork) clearly 
meet Criterion 1 by virtue of their being sufficiently 
spacious, possessing a great number of outstanding 
cultural and natural features, and offering a wide 
variety of recreation opportunities. The addition of the 
Folsom Lake SRA segment and the American River 
Parkway segment would further enhance these 
aspects of an American River NRA. 

Criterion 2A - Anticipated Heavy Use 

Within an 85-mile radius of the study area, that is, 
within approximately two hours driving time, the 
projected 1991 population is 9,330,000. Within a 250- 
mile radius the projected 1991 population is 
12,870,000. Few other locations, particularly in the 
West, can match these numbers for an NRA service 
area. 



Further, the average rate ot population growth, 1980- 
1991 , for counties within an 85-mile radius is 29 
percent. Average rate of growth over the same period 
for the three counties within the study area (Sacra- 
mento, Placer, and El Dorado) is an astonishing 42 
percent. Sacramento is the sixth fastest-growing, 
among the thirty most populous, metropolitan areas in 
the country. 

The study area is especially accessible to the sur- 
rounding population because of its location adjacent to 
major transportation corridors. Interstate Highway 80 
lies along the northwest margin of the area and brings 
it within a two-hour drive from much of the San Fran- 
cisco Bay Area, even less from Reno. U.S. Highway 
50 provides similarly convenient freeway access to the 
South Fork. Bay Area residents traditionally account for 
much of the recreational use within the area. 

Even prior to the recent surge in population growth, the 
California Department of Parks and Recreation said in 
its General Plan (1978) for the Auburn and Folsom 
units: 

"Local interest in outdoor recreation is intense. Bicy- 
cling has increased dramatically in the area, both for 
local transportation and recreation. Some ten thou- 
sand bicyclists have been counted on the American 
River Parkway during a single weekend. There is 
continued demand for equestrian trails, and per capita 
ownership of horses in the region is among the highest 
in the state. All forms of boating continue to be 
important in the area. The boat registration of El 
Dorado, Nevada, and Placer Counties — about one 
boat per 1 6 to 20 persons — is twice the statewide 
average of one boat per 44 persons. 

"As a whole, all indications are that there will be a 
continued increase in the demand for outdoor recre- 
ation in the Auburn-Folsom region." 

A further indication of heavy use within a future NRA 
are the current use levels of the existing recreation 
areas. In the South Fork segment, river rafting and 
attendance at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic 
Park combine to account for nearly 700,000 visitor 
days annually. At Folsom Lake SRA segment, visita- 
tion has recently been down to 1 .6 million user days 
per year, largely due to adverse water levels; past use 
has been in the 2.5 million range. Auburn State 
Recreation Area (Auburn Project segment) draws 
about a half-million visitors annually, while the Ameri- 
can River Parkway segment receives 5.5 million visitor 
days of use annually. All these data indicate the 
anticipated use criterion is met in at least the upper 
three segments (North Fork Wild River, Auburn Project 
and South Fork); adding the lower two segments 



(Folsom Lake SRA and the American River Parkway) 
would significantly expand anticipated use of an 
American River NRA. 

Criterion 2B - Meets Needs of Urban 
Population 

In 1974, the California Outdoor Recreation Resources 
Plan recognized that: 

"The rapid development of urban sprawl around the 
Sacramento metropolitan area presents some severe 
problems. Not only is the overall quality of life being 
jeopardized by the reduction of open space, but 
recreational lands are being irretrievably lost as well." 

To counteract this situation, the plan recommended, in 
priority order, the development of recreation areas that: 

1) are associated with natural lakes or rivers; 

2) are natural areas; 

3) are multi-purpose; 

4) are associated with reservoirs; and 

5) provide trail systems 

These conclusions were reached based on estimates 
of recreation demand for the area. Among the activi- 
ties included in the demand estimates were several 
that could apply to an NRA. For these activities, 
demand was greatest for bicycling and swimming, 
though it is not clear how much of this demand was for 
recreation in an urban context in specialized, man- 
made facilities. The remaining relevant activities, in 
decreasing order of demand, were: picnicking, nature 
walks, fishing, horseback riding, powerboating, hunt- 
ing, waterskiing, camping, hiking, and non-power 
boating. 

A more recent study that focuses on the recreation 
preferences and needs of Californians is the California 
Department of Parks and Recreation's Public Opinions 
and Attitudes on Outdoor Recreation ( 1 987) . This 
study surveyed public participation and opinion with 
respect to 38 recreational activities. Of these, it 
appeared there were 18 opportunities that could be 
offered in a proposed NRA. The relevant activities 
were: walking, bicycling, horseback riding, hunting, 
developed camping, primitive camping, trail hiking, 
nature study, picnicking, beach activities, swimming in 
lakes/rivers, sailboating/windsurfing, non-power 
boating, power boating, water skiing, freshwater 
fishing, dirt-biking, four-wheeling. Scoresforthe top 
one-half of the activities are displayed in Table 2-2. 

These data indicate that the available recreation 
opportunities (See Criterion 1 C) present in the study 
area are those for which there is the greatest demand 



19 



Table 2-2 












i 


iWg Days Per 


Total Est. Household 


Latent Demand 


Public Support 


Needs Assessment 


Activity 


Participant 


Participation Days 
(millions) 


Rating 


Rating 


Priority 


Walking 


40.6 


149.6 


high 


high 


1 


Beach 


16.7 


69.0 


high 


high 


1 


Cycling 


11.1 


46.0 


high 


high 


1 


Swimming 


10.9 


42.6 


mod 


mod 


4 


Nature Study 


10.5 


31.5 


high 


high 


1 


Picnicking 


9.5 


31.6 


high 


high 


! 


Camping 












(Composite) 


8.0 


26.5 


high 


high 


1 


Fishing 


6.9 


19.5 


high 


mod 


3 


Hiking 


3.6 


14.8 


mod 


mod 


4 



by the surrounding population. The study also points 
out that "nature oriented parks or preserves" and 
"backcountry natural areas" are the two types of 
recreation areas most preferred by Californians. 

Summary of Criterion 2 

In conclusion, the upper three segments (North Fork 
Wild River, Auburn Project and South Fork) clearly 
meet Criterion 2 by virtue of significant visitor use and 
proximity to urban populations. The addition of the 
Folsom Lake SRA and the American River Parkway 
segments would substantially enhance the visitior use. 

Criterion 3 - Qualities Significant 
Enough to Draw Regionally and 
Nationally 

Visitor origin data from the California Department of 
Parks and Recreation and El Dorado County indicate 
that the scenic and recreational values of the study 
area motivate visitation from well beyond the local 
area. At Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma - where 
beach swimming, flat-water boating, picnicking, 
cycling, fishing, and walking are all popular activities - 
ninety-five percent of the day use visitors are local 
(Sacramento/Central Valley Metropolitan Population 
Centers). These are the most popular activities and 
those for which overall local demand is greatest. Only 
one-third of the campers at Folsom Lake are from the 
Central Valley however. One-third come from the Bay 
Area, and one-third from other areas. 



Visitor origin data from the South Fork indicate a 
broader range of users. At Marshall Gold Discovery 
State Historic Park, exclusively a day use area with a 
well-developed picnic area, only one-third of the 
visitors are of local origin. Nearly one-quarter are from 
Southern California metropolitan population centers, 
and one-fifth are from the San Francisco Bay Area. 
Another 10 percent are from out-of-state (California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, 1978). The 
historical significance of this site is so great that visitors 
are attracted from a wide area. 

The same holds true for river rafting on the South Fork. 
According to a recent survey (El Dorado County 
Planning Department, 1982), only 17 percent of the 
rafters were from the local three county (Sacramento, 
Placer, El Dorado) area. Nearly one-half were from the 
San Francisco Bay Area, and over one-quarter were 
from Southern California. The remaining eight percent 
were from elsewhere in California or out-of-state. The 
"outstandingly remarkable" recreation values relating to 
Whitewater boating (National Park Service, 1983) 
represent an opportunity for which visitors will travel a 
considerable distance. No visitor origin data is avail- 
able for Whitewater boating on the Middle and North 
Forks, but it is likely that they also draw visitors from 
long distances. 

Participant origin data from competitive equestrian and 
mountain running events along the Middle Fork also 
indicate regional and national importance. The Tevis 
Cup (endurance trail ride) and the Western States 
Endurance Run (footrace), both one-day, 100-mile 
annual events using the Western States Trail, draw 



20 



entrants from across the country, as well as consider- 
able international participation. Likewise, competitive 
rowing and canoeing events on Lake Natoma lure 
participating teams from a wide area. 

It is possible that other qualities of the study area - if 
they were better known, more accessible, or effectively 
interpreted - are sufficiently special, rare, or outstand- 
ing to draw visitors from afar. Examples might be the 
scenic values of the upper canyons, especially the 
North Fork. Of equally "special" status is the concen- 
tration of historic sites and remains in the canyons, 
especially the Middle Fork. 

Summary of Criterion 3 

In conclusion, available evidence indicates that the 
upper three segments (North Fork Wild River, Auburn 
Project and South Fork) possess recreational opportu- 
nities significant enough to assure national, as well as 
regional visitation, and meet Criterion 3. The addition of 
the Folsom Lake SRA segment and the American 
River Parkway segment would further enhance the 
regional and national visitation to an American River 
NRA. 

Criterion 4 - Need for Federal 
Involvement to Assure Optimum 
Public Benefit 

This criterion is to determine if the scale of investment, 
development, and operational responsibility is sufficient 
to require increased federal participation in the study 
area. First, there is already a strong federal presence 
in this area with substantial investment, devebpmental, 
and operational responsibilities. The issue is how the 
addition of an NRA would relate to increased recre- 
ation coordination and emphasis. 

Second, there could be benefits in consistency, 
integration, and coordination if overall recreation 
management among the various responsible agencies 
were coordinated under NRA designation. Manage- 
ment of recreation within the study area is presently 
divided among the City and County of Sacramento, 
California Department of Parks and Recreation, El 
Dorado County, BLM, and Forest Service. 

This management mosaic has sometimes resulted in 
uneven development, inconsistent policies, and 
variable enforcement. An integrated management of 
the area would result from NRA designation, with 
overall management, operational responsibility and 
coordination being carried out through the NRA 
manager, even though direct management of various 
portions could remain in the hands of local or state 



agencies. To the extent this consolidation resulted in a 
clearly unified policy and direction for recreation, the 
public would benefit. 

Third, while designation of the American River as an 
NRA does not automatically guarantee federal invest- 
ment and development, it does offer all the manage- 
ment agencies strong justification for additional funding 
and improved coordination. Historically NRA designa- 
tions have enabled management agencies to justify 
additional management and development funds for 
similar types of NRA's including, Whiskeytown-Shasta- 
Trinity, Glen Canyon, Lake Mead, Flaming Gorge, etc. 

Summary of Criterion 4 

The benefits to the public from increased federal 
investments for operational responsibilities and overall 
coordination would be significant on the upper three 
segments (North Fork Wild River, Auburn Project, and 
South Fork) as well as the lower two segments 
(Folsom Lake SRA and American River Parkway). 
Therefore, this criterion is clearly met. 

Evaluation of Eligibility 

Overall, the upper three segments (North Fork Wild 
River, Auburn Project and South Fork) fully meet all the 
NRA eligibility criteria. They are sufficiently spacious, 
they have an abundance of outstanding natural and 
cultural features, and they offer a wide variety of 
recreational opportunities. They lie within and adjacent 
to a fast-growing metropolitan area of over a million 
people and within a short drive for many more millions. 
They provide the types of recreation most in demand 
by local residents, while at the same time offering 
qualities to attract visitors from a distance. They have 
the potential to provide even more public benefits 
under an NRA designation. Following the established 
NRA criteria, the combination of these areas possess 
all the qualities envisioned by the federal government 
in the NRA concept, perhaps conforming even more 
closely than many established NRAs. The addition of 
the Folsom Lake SRA segment and the American 
River Parkway segment further increases the American 
River's eligibility as an NRA in all four criteria. 

Many comments for and against the area meeting the 
criteria for designation were received during the public 
comment period in this study. These comments were 
reviewed, and based upon the eligibility evaluation 
(see Chapter 3), BLM concludes that a minimum of 
three segments and further the combination all five 
segments meet all the established NRA criteria, 
irrespective of which water alternative is authorized. 



21 



22 



Chapter Three 

Recreation Comparisons 

by Water Alternatives 



Introduction 

In this chapter, recreation opportunities, resource 
attributes, and natural and cultural features are identi- 
fied for the study area in terms of both the existing 
recreation environment and under the different dam 
alternatives. For effective portrayal and analysis, the 
study area is divided into five river/land area segments: 
the North Fork Wild River, the Auburn Project, the 
South Fork, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, and 
the American River Parkway. Following an inventory of 
recreation resources for each of the five segments is 
an analysis of the effects on recreation for the Auburn 
Project segment under each inundation scenario. An 
analysis for each dam alternative is then presented, 
with discussions on what recreation opportunities are 
gained and lost, and what patterns of use are likely to 
occur. A comparison of public recreation needs and 
the effects of recreation under each dam alternative is 
also presented. Finally, designation of a National 
Recreation Area is analyzed under various boundary 
scenarios. 



Description of Study Area 
Segments 

North Fork Wild River Segment 

The North Fork Wild River segment is bound on the 
west by the upper boundary of the Auburn Project and 
on the east by Euchre Bar, 14 miles upstream. Be- 
tween these western and eastern boundaries, the 
segment includes the corridor of the Wild River and the 
contiguous lands in the river viewshed. The North Fork 
Wild River segment is approximately 10,000 acres. 
The natural environment of the North Fork is com- 
prised of steep canyon walls and cliffs, several remote 
gorges and a few small valleys. Ponderosa pine forest 
occupies much of the segment, with some steep 
hillsides occupied by oak woodland/chaparral. 

Ownership of lands within the North Fork segment is 
88 percent federal and 1 2 percent private. Sixty 
percent of the segment is BLM land and 28 percent is 
National Forest System land. Land use in the North 
Fork canyon is primarily recreational, with some mining 
activities occurring. 



23 



The segment is characterized by a deeply incised 
canyon with the river itself being 2,000 feet to 2,400 
feet below the rim. This section of the North Fork is a 
Congressionally-designated Wild River and a State- 
designated Wild Trout Stream. Features include 
scenic, recreation, cultural and water quality values. 
The river flows through a narrow gorge lined with a 
wide variety of vegetation and geologic features. The 
National Park Service California River Inventory (1983) 
states that the North Fork "river corridor comprises 
some of the most spectacular and distinctive gorges 
and canyon lands found in the Middle Sierra." Histori- 
cal features in the segment include the Stevens Trail, 
American View, Cape Horn, and several Native 
American archeological sites. 

The recreation activities and supporting attributes 
offered by the North Fork Wild River segment are 
summarized in Table 3-1 . 

Recreation Resources 

Visitors to the North Fork Wild River segment recreate 
in a semi-wilderness setting. River access is possible 
from the lower terminus of the segment near the 
Colfax-Iowa Hill bridge, or by a strenuous descent by 
trail from a few locations along the canyon rim. 
Whitewater river rafting, hiking, backpacking, swim- 
ming, recreational gold panning, fishing, nature study 
and picnicking are among the most popular activities in 
the segment. Most visitation to the segment occurs 
from spring through early summer and early autumn. 

Whitewater recreation through the segment involves a 
Class V river, which means that the navigability is 



possible by experts only, and only under certain 
conditions with regard to the rate of flow. Typically, the 
Whitewater run of the North Fork Wild River segment 
(termed the "Giant Gap Run") is navigable only during 
the spring and early summer. The river gorge is also 
traversed during the late summer to early fall period by 
a few groups of rugged "gorge scramblers" who 
pioneer a route through the canyon by hiking, scram- 
bling and swimming. Fishing the North Fork for brown 
trout is also enjoyed by a few hardy anglers. Trails 
leading to the North Fork are used by hikers, back- 
packers, pack and saddle stock users, gold panners, 
and by Whitewater recreationists gaining access to the 
river at Euchre Bar. 

The canyon rim above the North Fork is used for 
various forms of recreation. Among the most scenic 
locations within the entire study area is Lovers Leap, a 
precipice that looms nearly perpendicular to the river 
some 2,400 feet below (see Chapter Two). Persons 
taking the view from here can also visit a giant oak, 
which is within easy walking distance of the overlook. 
This oak, among the largest of all black oaks in the 
nation, has a circumference of 29.5 feet, which ex- 
ceeds that of any other black oak. 

Auburn Project Segment 

The Auburn Project segment, encompassing the area 
within the Bureau of Reclamation takeline boundary for 
the Auburn Dam Project, includes sections of both the 
North and Middle Forks of the American River. The 
western boundary of the segment is Folsom Lake 



Table 3-1. Recreation Opportunities and Facilities: North Fork Wild River Segment 



Whitewater Recreation 

miles of river 

Hiking/backpacking 

miles of trails 



14 



30 



Pack and Saddle Stock Use 

miles of equestrian trails 

Fishing 

miles of river open to 
anglers 



14 



14 



Cultural and Historical 
Observation 

no. of features 



Gold Panning 

miles of river open 



14 



River Access 

road access points 
trail access points 



1 

9 



24 



along the North Fork. The eastern boundaries of the 
segment are the Colfax-Iowa Hill Bridge on the North 
Fork, and Oxbow on the Middle Fork. 

The Auburn Project segment is 42,000 acres in size 
and includes 48 miles of river. The natural environ- 
ment of the segment is characterized by two prominent 
canyons (the North and Middle Forks) that converge 
before entering a single narrow canyon above the 
Auburn Dam site and Folsom Lake. River canyons in 
the segment are extremely steep and rugged, and 
except for several wide river bars, the canyons are 
devoid of any true valleys. Lake Clementine on the 
North Fork is a 280-acre reservoir that represents the 
only water impoundment in the segment at present. 
Approximately 80 percent of the segment is occupied 
by oak woodland/chaparral and 20 percent by pon- 
derosa pine forest. Areas of riparian habitat exist along 
both rivers and along tributary streams. 

Land ownership in the Auburn Project segment is 84 
percent federal and 16 percent private. Federal lands 
acquired or withdrawn by the Bureau of Reclamation in 
the segment are managed for recreation by California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, which operates 
under an interim agreement initiated in 1977 and 
renewed annually. California Department of Parks and 
Recreation developed a General Plan for the Auburn 
Project in 1978 under the assumption that Auburn Dam 
would be built as originally planned. Because of this, 
there has been very little development in the area to 
support recreation. Land use in the segment is 
primarily recreational, with minimal mining and residen- 
tial inholdings. 

Natural features within the segment are numerous and 
varied. As presented in Chapter Two, the Auburn 
Project segment includes noteworthy scenic, botanical, 
zoological, and geological features highlighted by the 
canyons themselves. Cultural and historical features 
of the segment, as listed in Chapter Two, include 
Horseshoe Bar, Mountain Quarries Company Railroad 
Bridge, North Fork Dam, Camp Flint, Dardanelles 
Hydroelectric Plant, and Lime Rock. The segment has 
a total of 1 ,589 documented historic and prehistoric 
archeological sites (McCarthy, 1989). The most 
important recreational opportunities and existing 
recreation support facilities and attributes are summa- 
rized in Table 3-2. 

Visitors to the Auburn Project segment recreate mostly 
in primitive and semi-primitive settings. There are 1 1 
points along the rivers within the segment which are 
accessible by motor vehicle and the segment has a 
total of 72 miles of trails for hiking (of these, 15 miles 
are open to mountain bicyclists and 66 miles are 
suitable for equestrian use). Approximately 20 percent 
of all visitation to the area occurs in the vicinity of the 



confluence of the North and Middle Forks; in this area, 
there are no recreation developments except for 
parking and trails. Camping in the segment is limited 
to 19 semi-developed campsites, approximately 80 
primitive campsites, and an undetermined number of 
backcountry river campsites. Visitor attendance in the 
Auburn Project segment is estimated to be 500,000 
annually (California Department of Parks and Recre- 
ation, 1989a). 

Equestrian Recreation 

The Auburn Project segment is popular for horseback 
riders and other stock users. The area trails offer a 
variety of riding opportunities, from endurance training 
and events to relaxed trail riding. The Western States 
Trail traversing this segment is the route used for the 
famous Tevis Cup Ride from Squaw Valley to Auburn. 

Whitewater Recreation 

Both the North and Middle Forks of the American are 
popular rivers for Whitewater recreation. California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, manager of 
Whitewater recreation within the segment, has wit- 
nessed a steady increase since 1979 in commercial 
river rafting, particularly on the Middle Fork. The North 
Fork below the Colfax-Iowa Hill Bridge offers 9.5 miles 
of Class IV and V Whitewater and is a challenging and 
exciting river run in a fairly remote setting. 

In general, the Middle Fork is technically less demand- 
ing than the North Fork. The Middle Fork offers 
Whitewater recreationists 24 miles of Class II and Class 
III river, with some opportunities for advanced 
Whitewater (Class IV to VI); however, many commer- 
cial outfitters prefer to portage the advanced sections 
rather than navigate them. The lower 9 miles of the 
Middle Fork (Class II) is suitable for less experienced 
river rafters, canoeists and families with small children. 

Special Events 

The Auburn Project segment is the site of several 
special events ranging from a 100-mile endurance run 
to a Native American gathering. There are a total of 1 1 
special events held annually in the area: seven are 
equestrian, two are endurance runs, one is a combina- 
tion of bicycling and running, and one is a cultural 
gathering. Most notable of these events are the Tevis 
Cup Ride and the Western States Endurance Run; 
both events utilize the Western States Trail that 
traverses through the Auburn Project segment along 
portions of the North and Middle Forks. The Western 
States Trail is designated a National Recreation Trail. 
Both events have entrants from across the nation. The 
Tevis Cup Ride, initiated in 1955, draws approximately 
250 riders annually. The Western States Endurance 

25 



Table 3-2. Recreation Area Opportunities and Attributes: Auburn Project Segment 



Whitewater Recreation 

miles of suitable 
river 

Equestrian Recreation 

miles of suitable 
equestrian trails 

Hiking/Backpacking 

miles of trails 

Picnicking 

no. of sites 

Flatwater recreation 

total no. of acres 
waterskiing acres 
restricted speed acres 

Swimming/sunning 

miles of accessible 
shoreline 



34 



River Access 

public road access points 
trail access points 





Fishing 




miles of river open 


66 


to anglers 




Off-Road Vehicle Use 


72 


acres of area open 




Gold Panning 


10 


miles of river open 




Mountain Bicycling 


280 


miles of trails open 


190 




90 


Camping 




no. of semi-developed 




sites 




no. of primitive sites 



11 
11 



43 



900 



42 



15 



19 

80 



Cultural and 
Historical Observation 

no. of features 



20 



Run, following roughly the same 100-mile route as the 
Tevis Cup Ride, was founded in 1974, and has since 
become so popular that the limit of 400 participants 
has often been reached. 



South Fork Segment 



The South Fork segment is bound on the west by the 
boundary of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area near 
Salmon Falls Bridge. The eastern boundary of the 
segment is Chili Bar, some 21 miles upstream from 
Folsom Lake. Between these western and eastern 
boundaries is a corridor that follows the river, with 
parcels of federal, state, county and private lands. The 
South Fork segment is approximately 4,400 acres in 
size. The natural environment of the South Fork is 
characterized by rolling hills of ponderosa pine forest in 
the eastern half and oak woodland/chaparral in the 
western half, with the lowest areas comprised of some 



valley grassland ecosystems. Riparian areas along the 
river and along tributary streams offer an oasis for 
plants unable to survive the drier slopes. 

Ownership of lands within the South Fork segment is 
approximately 40 percent public and 60 percent 
private. Approximately 82 percent of the public lands 
are administered by BLM, 17 percent by California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, and one percent 
by El Dorado County. Privately owned lands are 
primarily rural residential, but some small farms and 
ranches also exist. These ranches and farms use the 
land mostly for grazing, fruit orchards, and vineyards. 
Commercial development is primarily in Coloma and 
Lotus. 

The South Fork segment is diverse in terms of scenic 
attributes. Murphy Mountain rises 1 ,100 feet above 
Coloma and is one of the more impressive mountains 
of the area. The lower portion of the river corridor 



26 



flows into a narrow canyon known as 'The Gorge." 
Cultural features within the South Fork segment 
include those within Marshall Gold Discovery State 
Historic Park at Coloma. The South Fork segment 
from the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area boundary 
to Chili Bar is listed in the Nationwide Rivers Inventory 
and as such is established as having potential for 
national designation as a wild, scenic or recreational 
river (National Park Service, 1983). 

The most important recreational opportunities offered 
by this unit and the most significant recreational 
facilities are summarized in Table 3-3: 

Whitewater Recreation 

The South Fork of the American is the most popular 
river for commercial Whitewater rafting in the western 
United States (Mandel et al, 1989; National Park 
Service, 1983). The recreation values relating to 
Whitewater boating have been inventoried as an 
"outstandingly remarkable feature" (National Park 
Service, 1983). Annually, more than 100,000 visitors 
float the river by inflatable raft through the services of 
commercial outfitters. The number of commercial river 
rafters is controlled by El Dorado County, which 
manages Whitewater recreation on the river. The 



South Fork is serviced by over 70 commercial river- 
running companies (National Park Service, 1983). 

Private rafting on the river accounts for approximately 
20,000 users annually. Kayaking on the South Fork 
also occurs, but because of the specialized nature of 
this sport, the number of kayakers is estimated at 
10,000 annually. 

The physical capacity for Whitewater boating on the 
South Fork as a recreational river is estimated to be 
218,000 annually; as a semi-wilderness river, the 
physical capacity for Whitewater boating is estimated to 
be 126,000 annually (El Dorado County Planning 
Department, 1982b). These estimates indicate that 
while the existing use along the South Fork is high, 
additional facilities for recreation could permit a sub- 
stantial increase in recreational use along the river if 
managed as a recreational river. 



Table 3-3. Recreation Opportunities and Facilities: South Fork Segment 



Whitewater Recreation 

miles of river 



Picnicking 

no. of sites 
no. of areas 



Cultural and Historical 
Observation 

no. of exhibits or 
features 

Hiking/Walking 

miles of trails 



21 


Camping 

no. of developed sites 
no. of primitive sites 


121 

7 


Bicycling 

miles of bikeway 
miles of trails 


42 


Horseback Riding 

miles of equestrian 
trails 


2.5 


Fishing 

miles of river open 
to anglers 




Gold Panning and 
Dredging 

miles of river open 



511 
45 








21 



27 



Cultural and Historical Observation 

The South Fork segment offers significant cultural and 
historical values from the gold rush era, and hosts 
approximately 700,000 recreationists annually. Of 
these, approximately 65 percent are visitors to 
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and the 
other 35 percent recreate along other portions of the 
river corridor. 

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area 
Segment 

This state park unit, encompassing the two reservoirs 
known as Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma, is centered 
on the confluence area of the North and South Forks. 
It is bound on the upstream side by the proposed 
Auburn dam site and on the downstream by the 
American River Parkway. The park unit includes 
approximately 19,000 acres, but the majority of this 
area is occupied by the lakes themselves with the 
boundaries of the unit generally close to the shoreline. 

The natural environment surrounding Folsom Lake is 
characterized by rolling hills covered with oak wood- 
land or brush, while Lake Natoma is situated in a valley 
environment with riparian vegetation. In many areas, 
rural and suburban residential development has 
proceeded right up to the park boundary, with an 
especially high density of residential, commercial, and 
light industrial use adjacent to Lake Natoma. 

The lands for the Folsom Project were purchased by 
the Corps of Engineers who built Folsom Dam. They 
turned the Dam and land jurisdiction responsibilities 
over to the Bureau of Reclamation in 1955 so the multi- 
purpose Folsom Dam could be operated as an integral 
part of the Central Valley Project. Folsom Dam was 
built to provide for flood control, water storage, and 
hydroelectric power. Nimbus Dam, located seven 
miles downstream from Folsom, is a small afterbay 
dam impounding Lake Natoma. In 1956 California 
Department of Parks and Recreation entered into an 
agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation for opera- 
tion of the recreational facilities of the two reservoirs. 
The State developed a master plan the next year, and 
a year later the first permanent recreation facilities 
were completed. In the years since, there has been 
regular construction of the new facilities and upgrading 
of existing ones, with an updated general plan pub- 
lished in 1978 and 1988. 

Natural features of the segment include the Anderson 
Island Heron Preserve and a remarkable wintertime 
congregation of Canada geese. Cultural features are 



the Folsom Powerhouse, the South Canal, and the 
North Fork Ditch. The most important recreational 
opportunities offered by this unit and the most signifi- 
cant recreational facilities are summarized in Table 3-4. 

The quality of Folsom Lake as a boating resource is 
augmented by nine boat launch ramp sites, with a total 
of 30 lanes, and a marina. Lake Natoma has three 
launch ramp sites yielding a total of nine lanes. 
Planned maximum boating density is 17 acres per boat 
at Folsom Lake and four acres per boat at Lake 
Natoma. Much of the picnicking and all of the camping 
take place in fully developed facilities. Similarly, the 
swimming/sunning activities are concentrated at 
developed beaches. The riding/hiking trail that runs 
along the west shore of Folsom Lake and the north 
shore of Lake Natoma is a part of the Pioneer Express 
Trail, and the paved bikeway running from Beals Point 
to Nimbus Dam is the eastern most segment of the 
Jedediah Smith National Recreation Trail. 

Folsom Lake supports a diverse and relatively produc- 
tive sportfishery heavily used by local anglers. Fishing 
at Lake Natoma is considerably less productive and it 
is correspondingly less popular. The area below high 
water line at Folsom Lake is open to vehicle use, which 
at times of drawdown provides a popular recreational 
opportunity. 

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is one of the most 
popular units in the state park system, with visitation in 
many years running near 2.5 million. Most of this 
visitation occurs in the summer, motivated by hot 
weather, and is oriented toward water-based recre- 
ation. During these peak use periods, the major 
recreational facilities are full to capacity. Lake Natoma 
receives about 500,000 visitors annually, with a similar 
seasonally crowded cycle of use. 

American River Parkway Segment 

The American River Parkway segment is a 23-mile- 
long river corridor that extends from Nimbus Dam at 
Lake Natoma to Discovery Park at the confluence of 
the American and Sacramento Rivers. The river 
corridor is an open space greenbelt that bisects the 
metropolitan area of Sacramento and occupies ap- 
proximately 6,000 acres. The natural environment of 
the segment is characterized by a broad river channel 
with dense riparian vegetation, including many large 
trees lining the banks of the river. Urban development 
surrounding the segment is often separated from the 
river by either bluffs or levees, and in many locations 
the surrounding urban development is screened from 
view by vegetation. 



28 



Table 3-4. Recreation Opportunities and Facilities: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Segment 1 



Folsom 



Natoma 



Speedboating/skiing flatwater 

acres of surface area 



12,900 



Restricted speed flatwater 

acres of surface area 

Whitewater runs 

miles of river 



600 





500 



Picnicking 

no. areas, no. tables 

Camping 

no. campgrounds, no. sites 

Nature study interpretive facilities 
Gold panning 

Hiking 

miles of trail 



7/600 

2/150 




50 



4/100 

1/020 




8 



Bicycling 

miles of paved path 
miles of trail 



9 
5 



8 





Equestrian 

miles of trail 



40 



Swimming/sunning beach 

miles of suitable shore 



1/2 



Fishing 

acres of surface area 



1 1 ,500 



500 



Mn addition to the most popular activities, Lake Natoma receives regular use for rowing competition and training, while Folsom Lake attracts jet skiers and 
sail boards. 



29 



The County of Sacramento is the managing agency for 
the American River Parkway segment, and owns 92 
percent of its lands. The State Lands Commission 
owns and manages the bed of the American River, 
excepting the lower four miles from the confluence with 
the Sacramento River, which are granted in trust to the 
City of Sacramento. The fairgrounds for the California 
State Fair (Cal Expo) are located within the American 
River Parkway segment, although they are managed 
separately. 

The American River Parkway was first conceived in 
1915 when the City of Sacramento drew a river 
corridor park onto a plan map. The Sacramento 
County Board of Supervisors initiated land acquisition 
proceedings along the river in 1959, and in 1962 
adopted an American River Parkway plan (Sacramento 
Board of Supervisors, 1985). Flows in the Lower 
American River segment are controlled by the Bureau 
of Reclamation through releases at Folsom and 
Nimbus dams. 

Natural features of the segment, as presented by the 
National Park Service California River Inventory 
(1983), include the river's scenic qualities, the fisheries 
resources of Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, striped 
bass and American shad, approximately 135 species 



of birds, and the river's lush riparian vegetation. 
Historic, archeological and cultural features of the 
segment include 26 identified sites of the Nisenan 
Maidu Indians; two are listed on the National Register 
of Historic Places (National Register of Historic Places, 
1966-1988, 1989). The segment's Indian sites and the 
river corridor's natural setting within a densely popu- 
lated urban area provide a significant opportunity for 
historical and nature education. The American River 
through the segment is designated as a Recreational 
River in both the State and Federal Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Systems. Recreation and fishery values have 
been classified as "outstandingly remarkable features" 
within the American River Parkway (National Park 
Service, 1983). The primary recreation activities and 
supporting attributes offered by the American River 
Parkway segment are summarized in Table 3-5. 

The American River Parkway segment offers the 
Sacramento metropolitan area a unique recreation 
resource in that the river corridor is a relatively pristine 
environment surrounded by dense urban development. 
There are 28 automobile access points, 1 6 boat launch 
areas, and a total of 68 access points for bicyclists, 
pedestrians and equestrians. The segment contains 
several developed parks and an extensive trail system. 
There are a total of eight roadway crossings of the river 



Table 3-5. Recreation Opportunities and Facilities: American River Parkway Segment 



Whitewater Recreation 

miles of river 



23 



Equestrian Recreation 

miles of equestrian trails 



25 



Picnicking 

no. of areas 

Natural and Cultural 
Interpretation 

no. of exhibits or 
features 



12 



31 



Fishing 

miles of river open to 
anglers 

Golfing 

no. of courses 



23 



Hiking/walking/jogging 

miles of trails 

Recreation access points 

automobile 
pedestrian 
equestrian 



50 



28 
58 

21 



Boating 

no. of launch areas 

Field Games 

no. of fields 



16 



Bicycling 

miles of bikeway 



- ' '■■■'■. 



25 



— 



■M^MMHUHI 



30 



between Discovery Park and Nimbus Dam, and 
considering the population density of the area, these 
crossings are quite dispersed and unobtrusive to the 
overall setting. 

The total recreational attendance of the American 
River Parkway segment is estimated at four million 
annually with the primary activities being biking, 
swimming, jogging, fishing, and rafting (Sacramento 
County Board of Supervisors, 1979). Approximately 75 
percent of the segment's use occurs between March 
and September. 

Physical Description of 
Inundation by Dam 
Alternatives 

The two dam alternatives are described in Chapter 
One. The following discussion builds on that informa- 
tion. 

Flood Control Only Detention Dam 

Studies by the Army Corps of Engineers (1989) 
estimate that it would be necessary to impede the 
riverflow as a flood control regulatory measure once 
every five to seven years. The impoundment would 
typically remain less than three weeks. The impound- 
ment or flood pool elevation would vary with flood 
intensity. For added perspective, the Auburn Project 
coffer dam, breached during the 1986 flood, had a 
spillway plug elevation of 715 feet and impounded 
water which covered the Highway 49 bridge, at 586 
feet elevation, four times between 1978 and 1986. The 
1986 flood created a pool almost equal to the spillway 
elevation at Lake Clementine which is 716 feet eleva- 
tion. 

The flood control reservoir capacity, at the 870-foot 
contour, would be reached during a 200-year flood 
event and would require approximately 3 weeks to 
drain. Under this condition, the water pool would 
extend to the Yankee Jim road bridge on the North 
Fork and Dardanelles Creek on the Middle Fork. The 
200-year flood control pool surface area is about 4,000 
acres. A single purpose, non-expandable project 
would require approximately 19,000 acres of land. 

Multi-Purpose Auburn Dam 

This alternative would result in a 10,000 acre reservoir 
extending to the Colfax-Iowa Hill bridge on the North 
Fork, a distance of 24 river miles from the dam, and to 



Oxbow Reservoir, 24 river miles from the North Fork- 
Middle Fork confluence when the reservoir is at its 
maximum pool level, an elevation of 1 ,140 feet. 

Regulation of water storage to provide for flood control 
and water releases for consumption and power gen- 
eration coupled with the steep canyon gradients will 
result in considerable fluctuation of the water level, up 
to 300 feet vertically. In the North Fork arm at a 
drawdown of 300 feet, or to an elevation of 840 feet, 
the area between Sorefinger Point, which is two miles 
upstream of the Ponderosa Way bridge, and the 
Colfax-Iowa Hill bridge would be exposed. In the 
Middle Fork arm the area between the vicinity of Fords 
Bar and Oxbow would be exposed. 

Near Auburn the water level would almost reach the 
California Department of Parks and Recreation head- 
quarters on Highway 49 and residential tracts such as 
on Robie Point in Auburn. The lower portion of the old 
workings at the Speckels quarry near Cool would be 
inundated. Lake Clementine at 71 6 feet elevation 
would lie below the usual drawdown zone. 

The project land area would be 42,000 acres. 

Effects on Recreation Under 
Inundation Scenarios 

Flood Control Only Detention Dam 

Natural Features 

The following areas, each possessing high scenic 
values, fall partially or fully within the area that would 
be subject to occasional flooding: American Canyon, 
Ruck-A-Chucky Rapids, Otter Creek and Canyon 
Creek. However, all of these are far enough upstream 
that their qualities should not be significantly affected. 
The areas would not be available for enjoyment during 
flood periods and access would be difficult shortly 
thereafter. 

Cultural Features 

The following cultural sites fall partially or fully within 
the area that would be subject to occasional flooding: 
Limestone Quarry, Mountain Quarries Railroad ("No 
Hands") Bridge, Old Stage Road/Auburn-Foresthill 
Turnpike, "Doodlebug" Gold Dredge, Mammoth Bar, 
North Fork Dam, and Grand Flume. Historic sites of 
potential archeological significance that fall within the 
floodable zone include: American Canyon, Cherokee/ 



31 



Poverty Bar, Oregon Bar, and Maine Bar. A total of 
224 historic sites of all types have been recorded within 
this zone. 

The effects of flooding on the above sites will be 
variable. Sites in downstream locations that display 
substantial structural remains, such as the Mountain 
Quarries Bridge and the bridge and toll house founda- 
tions on the Aubum-Foresthill Turnpike, would suffer 
adverse effects from water level fluctuations and fast 
currents. The remaining sites, by their nature and 
location, would probably not be affected by occasional 
brief inundation. 

Recreation Opportunities 

Under the Flood Control Only alternative, the flood 
control pool would reach elevation 870 on the average 
of once every 200 years. Once this elevation was 
reached, it would take approximately three weeks to 
drain the stored flood waters from behind the dam. For 
more frequent events (i.e., every five years or so) the 
flood control pool would reach an elevation of about 
580 feet, and would drain in about a week. These 
occasional inundations would likely occur between 
November and April, a non-peak period for recreational 
use. 

Besides temporary inundation of the canyons render- 
ing the area "off-limits," effects of this alternative on 
recreation would impact facility design and develop- 
ment. Since there are no recreation developments 
(except for trails and roads) within the inundation zone, 
future facility development such as restrooms, picnic 
areas and campgrounds would require a design that 
could endure the inundation. 

There would be impacts on recreation opportunities 
due to the effects of occasional inundation resulting 
from shifts in the vegetative composition and other 
biotic resources (Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990). 
Burrowing mammals, microfauna, and insects may be 
in a state of dormancy during the inundation and many 
would likely perish. Some birds, particularly those 
nesting in the inundation zone, could be affected. 

In general, recreation opportunities offered under the 
Flood Control Only option would coincide with the 
present condition of the area. No additional f latwater 
recreation would be offered. The overall spectrum of 
recreation opportunities available within the study area 
would remain the same as it is today. 



Multi-Purpose Auburn Dam 

Natural Features 

With the exception of Pointed Rocks Vista, Devils 
Falls, and Lime Rock, all or significant segments of the 
natural features listed in the narrative are located 
below the 1 , 140-foot elevation high water line and 
would be inundated. The list includes: American 
Canyon, Ruck-A-Chucky Rapids, Otter Creek, Canyon 
Creek, Codfish Falls, Shirttail Creek Canyon, Indian 
Creek, Dardanelles Creek, and Chamberlain Falls. 
(See Table 3-6.) 

Cultural Features 

Four of the historic sites identified on Auburn Project 
lands, would be unaffected by inundation - Butcher 
Ranch, Grizzly Bear House, Camp Flint, and Robbers 
Roost - and one would be partially affected - Roanoke 
Trail. The remaining sites lie fully below the high water 
line: Limestone Quarry, Horseshoe Bar/Tunnel Chute, 
Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge, Old Stage Road/ 
Auburn Foresthill Turnpike, "Doodlebug" Dredge, 
Dardanelles Hydroelectric Plan, North Fork Dam, 
Mammoth Bar, and Grand Flume. The identified 
historic sites of potential archeological significance 
would also be inundated: American Canyon, Chero- 
kee/Poverty Bar, Shirttail Canyon, Bunch Canyon, 
Oregon Bar, and Maine Bar. A total of 460 known 
historic sites of all types and various levels of signifi- 
cance would be inundated. Some of the already 
identified sites will, in our opinion, qualify for the 
National Register of Historic Places following comple- 
tion of the evaluation process. 

Recreation Opportunities 

The multi-purpose Auburn Dam alternative would affect 
most existing recreation opportunities, including 
Whitewater recreation, recreational gold panning/ 
dredging, cultural and historical observation, and 
stream fishing. However, many new recreation 
opportunities not presently offered in the Auburn 
Project segment would be realized. In addition, many 
of the recreation opportunities realized by creation of a 
reservoir could enhance those presently offered at both 
the Folsom/Nimbus complex and the American River 
Parkway. 

Flatwater Recreation - The reservoir created by the 
multi-purpose Auburn Dam would have a maximum of 
10,000 acres of surface area. At Auburn Reservoir, 
2,400 acres of non-power boating, 4,200 acres of 
restricted speed boating, and 3,400 acres for 
waterskiing/ powerboating are planned (California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, 1988). At the 
planned density of 29 acres per boat, the reservoir 



32 



Table 3-6. Natural and Cultural Features In Auburn Project Segment 



Natural 
Features 



Historic Sites with no 
Physical Remains 



Historic Sites with 
Physical Remains 



Pointed Rocks Vista 
American Canyon 
Ruck-A-Chucky Rapids 
Otter Creek 
Canyon Creek 
Lime Rock 
Codfish Falls 
Shirttail Creek Canyon 
Devils Falls 
Indian Creek 
Chamberlin Falls Rapid 
Dardanelles Creek 



Horseshoe Bar 
Limestone Quarry 
Grand Flume 
Mammoth Bar 
Robbers Roost 
"Doodlebug" Dredge 
Butcher Ranch 
Roanoke Trail 
North Fork Dam 
Camp Flint 
Grizzly Bear House 
Mountain Quarries Railroad 
Auburn/Foresthill Turnpike 
Dardanelles Powerplant 



American Canyon 
Cherokee/Poverty Bar 
Shirttail Canyon 
Bunch Canyon 
Oregon Bar 
Maine Bar 



would have a capacity for 1 1 7 boats in the "ski zone," 
and 145 boats in the restricted area. This would result 
in a maximum net increase of 238 boats. The upper 
reaches of the reservoir would be relatively narrow and 
would provide "sixteen miles of scenic 'river-like' 
waterway zoned for 'quiet' uses. . . ." (California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, 1988; p. 91). 
Unlike Lake Clementine, where the water level remains 
constant, the level of Auburn Reservoir would fluctuate 
up to 300 vertical feet. This drawdown could reduce 
the surface area of the reservoir to as little as 4,000 
acres, thereby reducing the boat capacity by 60 
percent. These fluctuations would also be expected to 
interfere with boat launch and marina operations, as 
they do at Folsom Lake. Specific effects on flatwater 
recreation downstream are unknown, but potentially 
could contribute to stabilization of recreation opportuni- 
ties at both the Folsom/Nimbus complex and the 
American River Parkway. 

Whitewater Recreation - Existing Whitewater runs in 
the Auburn Project segment (two on the North Fork 
and three on the Middle Fork) would be inundated at 
maximum reservoir level. In all, 38 miles of navigable 
Whitewater (9.5 miles of Class IV-V, 15.0 miles of 
Class lll-IV, 13.4 miles of Class II) would be affected. 
There would be limited Whitewater opportunity on both 
forks under certain drawdown conditions. 

Recreational Gold Panning and Dredging - Gold 
panning and dredging would continue periodically 
within the drawdown zone. 



Sunning and Swimming - Existing river-based areas 
for sunning and swimming would be eliminated. Since 
the steep topography surrounding the proposed 
reservoir would not be conducive for beach construc- 
tion, the development plan for the proposed Auburn 
Reservoir (California Department of Parks and Recre- 
ation, 1988) includes installation of floating docks for 
sunning and swimming. Potential stabilization of 
downstream flows could enhance swimming opportuni- 
ties at the Folsom/Nimbus complex and the American 
River Parkway. 

Fishing - An Auburn Reservoir would provide 10,000 
acres of coldwater fishing, including rainbows and 
kokanee, and warmwater fishing, including large and 
smallmouth bass and catfish. Potential downstream 
fishing opportunities at Folsom Lake and American 
River Parkway may be enhanced. Assuming that boat 
launch and marina facilities are constructed as 
planned, boat access for fishing on the reservoir would 
be good, but land access for bank and shoreline fishing 
would be poor. Boat capacity (29 acres per boat) for 
fishing the reservoir would be 145 boats during 
waterskiing season and a capacity of 262 boats for the 
remainder of the year, when the reservoir is full. The 
maximum net increase in fishing boat capacity would 
vary from 137 boats to 237 boats. For comparative 
purposes, Folsom Lake at plan density, has a capacity 
of 767 boats when it is full. 

Trails - Three existing trail segments would remain 
with the Auburn Reservoir: the trail from the new 



33 



Foresthill Bridge to Lower Clementine Road; the 
Western States Trail from Foresthill to the vicinity of 
Fords Bar; and the equestrian and hiking trail from 
Sliger Mine to Browns Bar Ravine. The proposed trail 
system of the Auburn State Recreation Area General 
Plan (California Department of Parks and Recreation, 
1988) includes 120 miles of riding and hiking trails in 
the area. These trails would generally be located 
some distance from the shore of the reservoir because 
of the steep canyon topography. 

Equestrian Recreation - The proposed development 
plan for Auburn Reservoir anticipates the replacement 
of the trail system eliminated by inundation. If imple- 
mented, this would involve re-routing trails, including 
the Western States Trail. Equestrian recreation in the 
area would be best suited for local users on short, 
relaxed riding as opposed to endurance rides over a 
variety of terrain. 

Picnicking - The proposed development plan for 
Auburn State Recreation Area (California Department 
of Parks and Recreation, 1988) provides for developed 
picnicking areas complete with tables, barbecues, 
restrooms, and parking at a total of 10 separate areas 
(245 sites total). The proposed picnicking areas, if 
developed, would generally not be located in close 
proximity to water; this condition contrasts with the 
existing environment where, despite the lack of devel- 
oped areas, picnicking is a popular activity typically 
occurring adjacent to water and often in conjunction 
with beach activities (swimming, sunning, wading etc.). 

Hiking and Backpacking - Fourteen miles of the 72 
existing miles of trail would remain. The proposed 
development plan for Auburn Reservoir (California 
Department of Parks and Recreation, 1988) provides 
for construction of several hillside trails. Proposed trail 
development includes access to small side canyons, 
reservoir "arms", and view points. If the plan is imple- 
mented, there would be a net increase in the miles of 
trail within the area. Five overnight "trail" camps (see 
Camping below) are proposed for a total overnight 
backpacking capacity of 50 people. 

Camping - The development plan for Auburn State 
Recreation Area (California Department of Parks and 
Recreation, 1988) proposes two fully developed 
campgrounds for a total of 280 sites. There would be a 
net increase of 181 sites from the present undeveloped 
condition. Proposed campgrounds would not be 
located for easy access to the reservoir because of 
topographic limitations. The development plan also 
proposes five "trail" campgrounds and six boat-in 
campgrounds: three situated onshore and three 
floating offshore (120 boats total). 



Analysis by Water Alternative 

An analysis of a National Recreation Area relative to 
the water alternatives can best be addressed by 
answering the question: What kind of an NRA will it 
be? An NRA based upon a free-flowing river (the 
Flood Control Only Detention Dam alternative); or an 
NRA based upon a reservoir (the multi-purpose Auburn 
Dam alternative)? 

An NRA based on the Flood Control Only option is the 
closest to the current or existing condition of the North 
and Middle Fork canyons. Since the detention dam 
would only retain water during actual flood conditions - 
an estimated three weeks for a 200-year flood or one 
week on the average of once every five years - the 
recreation impacts would be confined to the time of 
flooding and for the period of time thereafter required 
for the affected area to dry sufficiently to allow reentry 
and use. The impacts would be temporary dislocation 
at the time of flooding, and changes that would be 
necessary in the design, construction, and mainte- 
nance of access roads and recreation trails and 
facilities subject to periodic inundation. Some vegeta- 
tion shifts might occur in the ecosystem. 

Similarly, the suitability of a Flood Control Only NRA to 
respond to other priority recreational needs in the State 
of California (walking, bicycling, developed camping, 
picnicking, beach activities - as identified in a 1987 
Public Opinion and Attitude Survey on Outdoor Recre- 
ation in California by the California Department of 
Parks and Recreation (see Table 2-2) - would be 
unaffected, except on the same temporary basis. 

From a recreation point of view, an NRA with an 
adequate planning, development, and operating 
budget would enhance the existing recreation opportu- 
nities of the canyons and river environment to more 
than offset the temporary effects of periodic (approxi- 
mately once every five years) flooding. 

An NRA with the Flood Control Only option has the 
least shift from existing recreation condition and use, 
and of the water alternative options, maximizes 
preservation of and recreation opportunities associated 
with the canyons and free-flowing river. 

An NRA based upon the multi-purpose Auburn Dam 
substitutes 48 miles of river and canyon recreation 
base for 10,000 acres of reservoir recreation. 
Whitewater boating, gold panning and recreational 
dredging, river fishing, river sunning and swimming 
would be eliminated, along with 58 miles of canyon- 
based equestrian, hiking and mountain biking trails, 
and existing picnic and campground developments. In 
its place, the Auburn reservoir would provide power 



34 



boating and water skiing opportunities, reservoir 
fishing, potentially enhanced downstream recreation 
opportunities at Folsom Lake and American River 
Parkway, sunning and swimming, and new developed 
campgrounds, trails, and picnic areas. 

The new reservoir shoreline would be unsuitable for 
beaches, developed campgrounds, or other on-site 
water-oriented facilities due to steep reservoir canyon 
walls and 300-foot water level fluctuations that would 
be part of the reservoir water management program. 
The desirability and attractiveness of reconstructed 
facilities and trails would be less than in their present 
river-based locations. Birdwatching and nature study 
opportunities would remain, although these activities 
would occur in a less diverse ecosystem. The outdoor 
special events of the Tevis Cup and Western States 
100 Run would be eliminated or rerouted. Finally, 
according to the General Plan, 66 percent of the 
reservoir surface would be zoned for restricted speed 
power boating or nonpower boat use. 

An NRA with the multi-purpose Auburn Dam option 
represents a significant shift from existing condition 
and use, and maximizes reservoir-based recreation 
opportunities and activities. Downstream recreation 
opportunities could be enhanced dependent upon the 
Auburn Project's potential to stabilize river flows. 

Considerations in Assessing an 
American River NRA by the Water 
Options 

Further considerations in assessing an American River 
NRA by the water options are, first, that while many 
analyses have been conducted on the economic 
feasibility of water development and dam alternatives 
for the American River, little information exists on the 
economics of the recreation use and preservation 
values. Available data on the preservation value of 1 1 
free-flowing rivers in Colorado, for example, show that 
residents are willing to pay an average of $95 per 
household, or $1 1 2.6 million per year, for preservation 
of those rivers (Walsh, Sanders and Loomis, 1985). It 
is safe to assume that a significant preservation value 
for the American River in a free-flowing state currently 
exists; its estimated dollar value, however, is unknown. 
Second, substitution of sites is also a factor to consider 
in assessing the value of specific recreation activities. 
It should be noted that the Folsom Lake Reservoir in 
particular, and the Lake Oroville and Lake Berryessa 
Reservoirs, to name reasonably close ones, are 
accessible for recreation use to the same population 
which would primarily use a reservoir at Auburn. On 
the other hand, the Whitewater opportunities available 



for boating in the 48 miles of river canyon are a 
considerably more scarce resource, both locally and in 
the western United States. 

Finally, developed facilities for picnicking, camping, 
and trails can, given sufficient budget, be developed at 
any reasonably feasible locations in an NRA. What 
cannot be built is the larger environmental setting in 
which they are located or of which they are a part - 
especially for the more setting-dependent facilities and 
activities. 

Analysis by Segment 

The Auburn Project segment comprises 42,000 acres 
or 52 percent of the total study area and the segment 
that makes an American River NRA feasible. The 
Auburn Project segment is that portion of the NRA 
directly affected by inundation under the water alterna- 
tives, and is the most thoroughly discussed and 
analyzed segment in this report. 

The North Fork Wild River segment, approximately 
10,000 acres, adds a 14-mile stretch of nationally- 
designated Wild River to the Auburn Project segment, 
and incorporates the total recreation use of the North 
Fork into the NRA. A highly scenic segment, it adds a 
wild or primitive component to the NRA, and a notable 
scenic overlook (Lovers Leap). Predominantly in 
federal ownership, the North Fork segment is perhaps 
the most obviously suitable and easiest segment to 
designate. 

The South Fork segment, approximately 4,400 acres or 
five percent of the study area, has the largest percent- 
age of private land, developed properties, residences, 
and commercial areas. It is also the heaviest-used fork 
in the study area for Whitewater boating activities (the 
most popular commercial Whitewater river in the 
western United States, Mandel; et al 1989) which 
makes it a suitable segment to include in an American 
River NRA. The South Fork segment also includes the 
town of Coloma, where gold was first discovered in 
California. The site is now preserved in the Marshall 
Gold Discovery State Historical Park. Thus, the South 
Fork segment would add historical, as well as recre- 
ational, values to the NRA. 

The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area segment, 
approximately 19,000 acres of reservoir and shoreline 
close to the Sacramento metropolitan area, is a heavily 
used recreation unit in the California State Park 
System (2.5 million visitor days annually), and as such 
would add a well-established reservoir-based recre- 
ation complex to the NRA. 



35 



The American River Parkway segment, approximately 
6,000 acres or eight percent of the study area, pro- 
vides greenbelt, river access, and day use facilities 
(including a popular bicycling trail) from the Folsom 
Lake State Recreation Area segment to and through 
metropolitan Sacramento. It is a highly popular 
recreation area located close to the daily lives and 
activities of thousands of people, as its four million 
annual visitor use days reflect. The American River 
Parkway is an intensively-used recreation area dedi- 
cated to providing recreation opportunities for the 
public, and would be a significant addition to an 
American River NRA. 

On the other hand, the American River Parkway 
segment shares in common with the Folsom Lake 
State Recreation Area segment the fact that the 
Parkway is already secured and dedicated to the 
provision of outdoor recreation for the public, and is a 
self-sufficient functioning unit, in this case, of the 
Sacramento County Department of Parks and Recre- 
ation. From a perspective of maximizing a best 
conceivable NRA, the Parkway should probably be 
included. From a perspective of providing the public 
with the best possible recreation opportunities along 
the American River, an NRA upstream of the American 
River Parkway (and Folsom Lake) segment, and 
coordinated with the Parkway, would provide equiva- 
lent opportunities. 



In summary, a decision to establish an NRA would 
provide a mechanism for the overall coordination of the 
Auburn Project, North Fork segments (52,000 acres), 
and most logically the South Fork segment (for a total 
of 56,400 acres). These segments would offer recre- 
ation opportunities including Whitewater rafting, 
powerboating, equestrian, hiking, sailboating, stream 
and reservoir fishing a large variety of developed 
recreation opportunities. These values would be 
present under any of the water development alterna- 
tives. It could either include or be adjacent to the 
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area segment (19,000 
acres) and the American River Parkway segment (for 
an NRA total of 81 ,000 acres). 

While BLM concluded that the Auburn Project segment 
(under any of the water alternatives), North Fork 
segment and South Fork segment meet the criteria as 
an NRA, the addition of the Folsom Lake Recreation 
Area segment and the American River Parkway 
segment would: 1) enhance the recreational diversity 
by adding additional reservoir based recreation experi- 
ences; 2) add anadromous fishing opportunities on the 
Lower American River; 3) add existing developed 
biking, jogging and urban parks experiences; and 4) 
establish an NRA which provides a wide range of 
natural ecosystems encompassing the range from 
mountains to river valley. The addition of these 
segment would establish an NRA with the widest 
spectrum of recreation opportunities and ecosystems 
values, unique to existing NRAs. 



36 



Chapter Four 
Overview of Management 



Introduction 

Management of the three forks of the American River 
system downstream to the confluence to the Sacra- 
mento River involves federal, state, county, and 
municipal jurisdictions. Management objectives vary 
from one managing agency to the next because of 
individual agency mission and goals. To a large 
extent, the same recreational activities occur in each 
segment and recreationists may cross jurisdictional 
boundaries during the course of a day. Commercial 
Whitewater rafting found on all forks of the American 
River system and trail use are examples. 

The first section of this chapter addresses, by study 
segment, the existing managing agencies and their 
respective boundaries within each segment. The 
second section is a review of each agency's mission. 
The third section discusses the management ap- 
proaches currently found in National Recreation Areas. 



Present Land Management 
and Regulatory Jurisdiction 
Within the Study Area 

Direct land management authority and authority to 
regulate land use within the study area is shared by all 
levels of government; federal, state, county and 
municipality. 

In addition to the land management and regulatory 
authorities listed above, enforcement authority is also 
embodied in the California Department of Forestry and 
Fire Protection, state and county law enforcement 
groups, local fire districts, etc. 

The following discussion highlights land management 
within the segments of the study area. Table 4-1 
presents a summary of the jurisdictional portion of this 
discussion. Figure 4-1 is a graphic illustration of land 
ownership within the study area. 



Federal 


State 


County 


Municipal 


Forest Service 

(USFS) 
Bureau of Land 

Management (BLM) 
Bureau of 

Reclamation (USBR) 


California Department 
of Parks & Recreation 
Cal Expo Board 


Placer 
El Dorado 
Sacramento 


Sacramento 

Auburn 

Folsom 



37 



Table 4-1. Study 


Area Land Ma 


nagement Regulatory Jurisdiction 








LAND MANAGEMENT 




STUDY 

AREA SEGMENT 


OWNERSHIP 


JURISDICTION 


OR 
REGULATORY 


BASIS FOR JURISDICTION 


NORTH FORK 
WILD RIVER 


Federal 


Forest Service 
Bureau of Land Mgt. 


Land Management 
Land Management 


National Forest System Land 

Public Domain Land; Memorandum of Understanding with USFS for 

managing Whitewater recreation 




Private 


Placer County 


Regulatory 


General Plan 


AUBURN PROJECT 


Federal 


Forest Service 
Bureau of Land Mgt. 
Bureau of Reclamation 
State Parks & Rec. 


Land Management 
Land Management 
Land Management 
Land Management 


National Forest System Land on the Middle Fork 

Public Domain Land on the North and Middle Forks 

Auburn Dam Project Acquisitions 

Cooperative Agreement with USBR for Recreation Management and 

Law Enforcement on Auburn Project Lands. Manage Whitewater 

recreation on National Forest System Lands through USBR. 




Private 


Placer County 
El Dorado County 
City of Auburn 


Regulatory 
Regulatory 
Regulatory 


General Plan 
General Plan 
General Plan 


SOUTH FORK 


Federal 


Bureau of Land Mgt. 


Land Management 


Public Domain Land 




State 


State Parks & Rec. 


Land Management 


Marshall Gold Discovery Historical Park 




Private 


El Dorado County 


Regulatory 


General Plan 


FOLSOM SRA 


Federal 


Bureau of Reclamation 
Bureau of Land Mgt. 


Land Management 
Land Management 


Central Valley Project 
Public Domain Land 




State 


State Parks & Rec. 


Land Management 


Management Agreement with USBR; State Owned Land 




County 


El Dorado 


Land Management 


Lotus Park 




Private 


City of Folsom 
Sacramento County 
Placer County 
El Dorado County 


Regulatory 
Regulatory 
Regulatory 
Regulatory 


General Plan 
General Plan 
General Plan 
General Plan 


AMERICAN 

RIVER PARKWAY 


State 


Cal Expo Board 

State Lands Commission 


Land Management 
Land Management 


State Lands 
Riverbed 




County 


Sacramento 


Land Management 


General Plan 




Private 


City of Sacramento 


Regulatory 


General Plan 


ura II III H^^M^HKrH 




City of Folsom 


Regulatory 


General Plan; Agreement with City of Sacramento 



Figure 4 ■ 1 
LAND OWNERSHIP IN STUDY AREA 



Private 12% 



U.S. Forest 
Service 28% 




BLM 60% 



North Fork Wild River 
10,000 acres 



Private 1 6% 



Bureau of 

Reclamation 

62% 




BLM 16% 



U.S.Forest 
Service 6% 



Auburn Project Area 

41,700 acres 



BLM 18% 



Private 13% 



County of 
Sacramento 
6% 
CDPR 5% 

Other <1% 




U.S. Forest 
Service 6% 



^Bureau of 

Reclamation 

52% 

STUDY AREA: 
81 ,000 ACRES 



Cal Expo & State Lands 
Commission 
8% 




; 



^ __j -~ Countv of 

Sacramento 
92% 

American River Parkway 
6,000 acres 



CDPR 7% 



BLM 34% 



El Dorado County <1% 




Private 
59% 



South Fork of the 

American River 

4,400 acres 



CDPR 11% 



BLM 3% 




Bureau of 

Reclamation 

86% 



Folsom Lake State 
Recreation Area 

19,200 acres 



39 



Land Management and 
Regulatory Jurisdiction by 
Segment 

North Fork Wild River Segment 

Federal 

Forest Service - The study area includes a two-mile 
river segment within the Tahoe National Forest extend- 
ing from Euchre Bar to Green Valley. This segment is 
part of the North Fork American Wild River which is 
both state and federally designated. 

Canyon lands adjacent to the wild river corridor that are 
under Forest Service authority are managed with 
emphasis on complementing the wild river. 

Principal management guidelines are contained in the 
North Fork American Wild River Management Plan 
(U.S. Forest Service and BLM, 1979) and the Tahoe 
National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan 
Draft (U.S. Forest Service 1986). 

Bureau of Land Management - The BLM manages 
public lands 1 ,000 feet upstream of the Colfax-Iowa Hill 
bridge to the Tahoe National Forest boundary, a 
distance of 12 miles. The BLM manages the 
Whitewater outfitter-guide activity on its lands as well 
as the two-mile National Forest segment between the 
forest boundary and Euchre Bar. 

County 

Placer County - The Wild River portion of the study 
area is entirely in Placer County. 

Auburn Project Segment 

Federal 

Forest Service - The Tahoe and Eldorado National 
Forests are located along the Middle Fork in the upper 
arm of the study area. The two National Forests have 
four miles of common boundary, along this fork. The 
Eldorado National Forest extends downstream an 
additional eight miles from the west boundary of the 
Tahoe National Forest. 

The Forest Service continues to administer National 
Forest System land, about 2,400 acres, within the 
Auburn Project boundary. However, since the Middle 
Fork river mileage under Forest Service jurisdiction is a 
minority portion of the total between Oxbow and 



Mammoth Bar, California State Parks manages 
Whitewater outfitter-guide activity on National Forest 
System land through a Forest Service and Bureau of 
Reclamation agreement. 

Bureau of Land Management - The Bureau of 
Reclamation has withdrawn, for project purposes, 
7,200 acres of public land formerly administered by the 
BLM. BLM currently manages 6,500 acres within the 
project area for which withdrawal action is pending. In 
addition, BLM administers public lands adjoining the 
project area. 

Bureau of Reclamation - The Bureau of Reclamation 
has acquired, through fee acquisition and public land 
withdrawal, about 26,000 acres of the 42,000 acres 
within the Auburn Dam Project boundary. 

State 

California Department of Parks and Recreation - 

State Parks manages lands acquired by the Bureau of 
Reclamation under an interim agreement initiated in 
1977 and continued in 1980 by Memorandum of 
Understanding. 

State Parks agreed in 1966 to manage project lands 
upon completion of Auburn Dam. A General Plan for 
the Auburn State Recreation Area was approved by 
the State Parks and Recreation Commission in 1979. A 
planning effort is underway at this time to develop an 
interim management plan for Auburn project lands. 

County 

Placer County - The Middle Fork separates Placer 
and El Dorado counties upstream from its confluence 
with the North Fork. 

The North Fork is the boundary between Placer and El 
Dorado counties, downstream from its confluence with 
the Middle Fork. 

The most common zoned parcel size for unacquired 
private land in Placer County within the current Auburn 
Dam project boundary is 20 acres. There are a few 
parcels zoned smaller at 10 acres and others up to 160 
acres. 

El Dorado County - The present Auburn Dam project 
boundary extends easterly from the dam site almost to 
Highway 49 in the vicinity of Cool. 

There is some residential development on unacquired 
private lands within the Auburn Dam project boundary. 
There is significant residential development adjacent to 
project lands in the vicinity of Cool. 



40 



Baxter ® 



North Fork Wild River Segment 



Colfax 
® 











S?Sr 





rL jK ] 




Iowa Hill 


r^pJ" 





EUCHRE 
BAR 

North Fork 

American River 



d 



Bureau of Land Management 



Forest Service 



Private 



N 

K 



5.2 



5.2 



SCALE 1 « 125000 
MILE 



I — I I — I 



5.2 



5.2 KILOMETER 



41 



42 



Municipal 

City of Auburn - The Auburn Dam project boundary 
includes land within the city limits of Auburn, most of 
which has been acquired by the Bureau of Reclama- 
tion. 

South Fork Segment 

Federal 

Bureau of Land Management - The BLM manages 
eight parcels which are scattered between Salmon 
Falls and the vicinity of Chili Bar and issues permits for 
day and overnight use. 

State 

California Department of Parks and Recreation - 

The Marshall Gold Discovery Historic Park at Coloma 
is part of the State Park system. 

County 

El Dorado County - Private ownership of land pre- 
dominates along the South Fork. Land uses include 
rural riverfront residential development, commercial 
development related to river and other recreational 
use, and agriculture. River management is guided by 
the South Fork of the American River Management 
Plan, part of the County's General Plan. The county 
also owns and manages Lotus Park. 

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area 
Segment 

Federal 

Bureau of Reclamation - Folsom Lake is a multi- 
purpose (flood control, power, and water) reservoir 
operated by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the 
Central Valley Water Project. Lake Natoma, formed by 
Nimbus Dam, is a power afterbay to Folsom Reservoir. 
It is part of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area as 
well as the American River Parkway. 

The area within the acquisition line at Folsom Lake is 
about 17,000 acres in size, of which about 12,000 
acres is water surface at maximum pool. 

The Lake Natoma area is 1 ,300 acres in size of which 
500 acres is water surface at maximum pool. It lies 
within Sacramento County and is bordered by several 
communities within the county as well as the City of 
Folsom. 



Bureau of Land Management - There are two public 
land parcels included in the project boundary. They 
have been withdrawn by the Bureau of Reclamation 
and are included under State Recreation Area man- 
agement. 

State 

California Department of Parks and Recreation - 

State Parks has managed Folsom State Recreation 
Area since entering into an agreement with the Bureau 
of Reclamation in 1956. 

The State has also added lands to the State Park 
through its acquisition program. 

A General Plan for the Folsom Lake State Recreation 
Area was approved by the State Parks and Recreation 
Commission in 1979. 

County and Municipal 

Counties of El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento 
and the City of Folsom - Jurisdictional boundaries of 
these governing bodies are contiguous to various 
segments of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. 

American River Parkway Segment 
State 

Cal Expo - The Cal Expo floodplain is within the 
Parkway and under the jurisdiction of the Cal Expo 
Board of Directors. 

State Lands Commission - The California State 
Lands Commission manages the bed of the lower 
American River from its confluence with the Sacra- 
mento River to Nimbus Dam, excepting the lower four 
miles which are granted in trust to the City of Sacra- 
mento. 

County 

County of Sacramento - The County of Sacramento 
manages the Parkway from Discovery Park on the 
American River to Lake Natoma, a distance of 23 
miles, including a segment within the City of Sacra- 
mento. This river segment is classified, designated, 
and administered as a recreation river under both the 
State and Federal Wild and Scenic River Systems. 

The American River Parkway Plan is a recreation 
element of the Sacramento County General Plan. 



43 



Municipal 

City of Sacramento - The portion of the Parkway 
within the City of Sacramento is managed by Sacra- 
mento County. 

Agency Mission Statements 

Agencies from all three levels of government, federal, 
state, and county, are major providers of outdoor 
recreation opportunities in the Sacramento Valley and 
the outlying foothill regions. Currently, there are three 
federal agencies, three state agencies, and three 
county governments managing lands within the NRA 
study area. To gain a better understanding about each 
agency's role in managing the lands within the NRA 
study area, a general description of missions, man- 
dates, and responsibilities follow in this chapter. 

Federal and State 

Both federal and state managing agencies have 
specific governing mandates, goals, objectives, and 
management capabilities designed to carry out their 
stated missions. On the federal level, the Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM), the United States Forest 
Service and the National Park Service, have legally 
mandated resource responsibilities that include 
outdoor recreation management. The BLM and the 
Forest Service operate under a multiple use - sus- 
tained yield concept. The National Park Service 
operates under the principle concept of providing 
recreation opportunities in a manner which leaves the 
area unimpaired for the enjoyment of future genera- 
tions. The Bureau of Reclamation does not have a 
resource management mandate and therefore recre- 
ation management at most project sites is handled 
through another federal or state agency. The State of 
California has appointed the Department of Parks and 
Recreation to carry out its legally mandated outdoor 
recreation responsibilities. 

Bureau of Reclamation 

The Bureau of Reclamation plans, constructs, and 
operates multi-purpose water supply and conservation 
projects associated with the reclamation of arid or 
semi-arid lands. The Reclamation Act of 1902 (43 
U.S.C. 371 et seq.) and subsequent amendments and 
supplemental acts provides the basic guidelines for the 
agency. 

The Bureau: 

1 . Develops plans for regulations, conservation, and 
utilization of water and the related resources. 



2. Conducts basin-wide water resource studies and 
development of new sources of fresh water sup- 
plies, power capacity, and energy. 

3. Designs and constructs projects authorized by 
Congress. 

4. Repairs and rehabilitates existing projects. 

5. Operates and maintains Reclamation-constructed 
facilities that are not transferred to local organiza- 
tions, and reviews operation and maintenance of 
Reclamation-built facilities that have been trans- 
ferred to local organizations. 

6. Administers the Small Reclamation Projects Act of 
1956 for loans for construction, rehabilitation of 
irrigation systems and the repayment of those 
contracts. 

7. Shares in planning, engineering and construction 
management expertise with other agencies, depart- 
ments or governments on a cost reimbursable basis. 

The Bureau has also been involved in the development 
of both recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement 
projects associated with water projects. The manage- 
ment of recreation resources at reclamation project 
sites is usually handled under a memorandum of 
understanding with other federal agencies and by 
agreement, lease, or license with nonfederal agencies. 
Facility development is through a cost-sharing agree- 
ment with the managing agency. 

The Bureau contracts with the State of California for 
recreation management and resource protection on the 
Folsom/Nimbus Lake Complex and Auburn project 
lands. Along with operating Folsom Dam, the Bureau 
manages land use activities such as easements and 
permits on the Auburn Project lands. The California 
Department of Parks and Recreation is operating 
under a 50-year agreement to manage the Folsom/ 
Nimbus Lake Complex, and it manages the Auburn 
Project lands under an annual agreement. 

Bureau of Land Management 

BLM is guided by the Federal Land Policy and Man- 
agement Act, Public Law 94-579 October 21 , 1976 
(FLPMA). FLPMA provides the basic mission for BLM 
and establishes policy guidelines and criteria for its 
management of public lands. Congress directs that 
public lands are to be managed on the basis of multiple 
use and sustained yield. As defined by FLPMA, 
multiple use "means the management of the public 
lands and their various resource values so that they 
are utilized in the combination that will best meet the 



44 



Colfax ® 



North Fork 
American River 



Auburn Project Segment 



Auburn 9 




Bureau of Land Management 
Bureau of Reclamation 
Forest Service 
Private 



N 



8.3 



\ 



Q 



8.3 



SCALE 1 : 200000 
MILE 



8.3 



8.3 KILOMETER 



45 



46 



SALMON 

FALLS 

BRIDGE 



South Fork Segment 



South Fork 
American River 




CHILI BAR 



— 



§§S State 



Placerville® 



N 5.2 



N 



5.2 



SCALE 1 i 125000 
MILE 



5.2 



H h-H E 



5.2 KILOMETER 



47 



48 



Folsom 




of Land Management 
of Reclamation 



N 6.3 



\ 



SCALE 1 « 150000 
MILE 



6.3 



A I — 1 E 



6.3 







6.3 KILOMETER 
3 



49 



50 



American River Parkway Segment 




+-fl|4- h, 

Sacramento 

irrxm~ 
.-tti-m-rtHrli 



ES3 Bureau of Reclamation 
Private 



N 
\ 



7.3 



SCALE 1 •• 1 75000 

MILE 
l—l I 



7.3 



7.3 

3 



7-3 KILOMETER 



51 



52 



present and future needs of the American people...." 
Sustained yield "means the achievement and mainte- 
nance in perpetuity of a high level annual or regular 
periodic output of the various renewable resources of 
the public lands consistent with multiple use." 

Areas administered by BLM vary from desert mountain 
ranges, Whitewater rivers, alpine tundra, coniferous 
forests, sand dunes, and deserts, to ocean beaches 
offering a variety of recreation opportunities in diverse 
natural settings. Nationally recognized areas under 
direct BLM administration include Wilderness Areas, 
Conservation Areas, Scenic Areas, Historic Trails, a 
National Recreation Area and Wild and Scenic Rivers. 
BLM manages almost a third of the 1 19 nationally 
designated Wild and Scenic Rivers representing over 
2,000 river miles. Outside of the national system, but 
important to wildlife, watershed, and other recreational 
values, are 100 other floatable river segments totaling 
over 7,000 miles. 

In California, where it manages over 17 million acres of 
land, BLM focuses its recreation management effort on 
60 Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMAs). 
The Wild North Fork of the American River is ranked 
among the BLM's top five SRMAs in the State. The 
BLM Folsom Resource Area manages the Whitewater 
recreation activities on this fork under a Memorandum 
of Understanding with the Tahoe National Forest. The 
management objectives for the North Fork American 
Wild River are: 

1 . To protect, enhance, and maintain the recreational, 
scenic, cultural, and natural resource values of the 
river system while providing a quality recreation 
experience; 

2. To provide for dispersed recreation opportunities; 

3. To provide adequate numbers of personnel to insure 
visitor safety, administer use, and monitor the 
resource values to ensure they are not degraded. 

Forest Service 

The Forest Service is the largest single land managing 
agency in California, with more than 20 million acres of 
land under its jurisdiction. Generally, the national 
forest lands are located in the higher elevations of the 
Sierra Nevada, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountains. 

The Forest Service has the federal responsibility for 
national leadership in forestry. Its mission is to provide 
a continuing flow of natural resource goods and 
services to help meet the needs of the Nation and to 
contribute to the needs of the international community. 



To accomplish this the Forest Service has adopted the 
following objectives: 

1 . Provide a sustained flow of renewable resources - 
outdoor recreation, forage, wood, water, wilderness, 
wildlife, and fish - in a combination which best meets 
the needs of society now and in the future; 

2. Administer the nonrenewable resources of the 
National Forest System to help meet the nation's 
needs for energy and mineral resources; 

3. Promote a healthy and productive environment of 
the nation's forests and rangelands; 

4. Develop and make available scientific and techno- 
logical capabilities to advance renewable natural 
resource management use and protection; 

5. Further natural resource conservation through 
cooperation with other federal and state and local 
governments; 

In addition to timber management, outdoor recreation, 
grazing, fish and wildlife management, and watershed 
management are responsibilities under the provisions 
of the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960. The 
Forest Service outdoor recreation policy is to plan and 
manage recreation in a context that considers the 
resource attributes, use patterns, and management 
practices of nearby federal, state, and local entities. 
Those activities that harmonize with the natural 
settings of the National Forest are emphasized and 
given priority over those that may detract from it. The 
Forest Service administers 15 National Recreation 
Areas, as well as numerous National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers, National Trails, and Wilderness Areas. It 
operates more than a thousand campgrounds and 400 
picnic sites in California alone. Almost two-thirds of all 
recreation visits on all federal lands of California are 
spent in national forests. The Tahoe and Eldorado 
National Forests contract annually to maintain their 
respective trail systems within the Auburn project 
lands. Special Use permits are issued to guides and 
outfitters and for special recreation events crossing 
national forest lands. The Forest Service has trans- 
ferred the management of Whitewater recreation on the 
Middle Fork to the Bureau of Reclamation who con- 
tracts that work to the California Department of Parks 
and Recreation. 

California State Lands Commission 

The State Lands Commission has exclusive jurisdiction 
over all ungranted tidelands and submerged lands 
owned by the State, and the beds of navigable rivers, 



53 



sloughs and lakes. The State's ownership of these 
lands includes lands lying below ordinary high-water 
mark of tidal waterways and below the low-water mark 
of nontidal waterways. The area between the ordinary 
high and low water on nontidal waterways is subject to 
a "public trust easement." This easement is also under 
State Lands Commission jurisdiction. 

California Department of Parks and 
Recreation 

The California Department of Parks and Recreation's 
primary mission is for management and perpetuation of 
the natural, cultural, and recreational resources, for the 
benefit of present and future generations. The Depart- 
ment manages four distinct programs; the State Park 
System, the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation 
Program, Financial Assistance, and Historic Preserva- 
tion. 

There are eight classifications forming the State Park 
System program: 

1 . State Parks 

2. State Recreation Areas 

3. State Beaches 

4. State Historic Parks 

5. State Reserves 

6. State Urban Recreation Areas 

7. State Wayside Campgrounds 

8. State Historic Monuments 

State recreation areas are established to help meet the 
non-neighborhood recreational needs of the public. 
Although the main emphasis is on outdoor recreation, 
the State's role is not restricted to that purpose. Lands 
are selected specifically for recreational purposes, for 
their ability to serve recreational needs on a large 
scale, and for the ability of their resources to withstand 
heavy visitor use. In state recreation areas, the 
recreational potential is the primary resource, with 
natural or cultural values supporting and enhancing the 
recreational setting. In state recreation areas, planning 
and resource management activities are aimed at 
providing optimum recreational opportunities, in both 
quality and quantity. In planning and developing 
facilities in state recreation units, the precautions 
necessary in other classifications to protect the integrity 
of primary resources and values do not apply to the 
same degree. Protective standards have a different 



emphasis because the primary values of state recre- 
ation units are recreational opportunities rather than 
natural features. 

The State Park System includes approximately 
1 ,250,000 acres of land providing 12,000 campsites, 
10,000 picnic sites, as well as 57 boat ramps, 2,300 
boat slips, and 2,700 miles of trails. The State Park 
System offers over 280 different units experiencing 
nearly 60 million visitors annually. There are 36 
existing State Recreation Areas; two of these, Folsom 
and Auburn, are found within the boundary of the NRA 
study area, as is Marshall Gold Discovery State 
Historic Park. The State of California contracts with the 
Bureau of Reclamation to manage the Auburn Project 
lands and the Folsom/Nimbus Complex for recreational 
use and resource protection. State Parks manages 
Whitewater boating activities on the Middle and lower 
North Fork of the American Rivers. 

County and Local Mandates 

The State of California requires each city and county to 
adopt a comprehensive long-term general plan for the 
physical development of the community. Seven 
elements must be included in a general plan; 1. land 
use, 2. circulation, 3. housing, 4. conservation, 5. open 
space, 6. noise, and 7. safety. In addition, each county 
and city may adopt optional elements such as a 
recreation element. The counties of Sacramento, El 
Dorado, and Placer have adopted recreation as an 
element or sub-element of their plans. The general 
plan is but one phase of the planning process. De- 
tailed analysis of local situations and problems usually 
lead to more detailed plans for the community. Two 
such detailed plans pertain to portions of the NRA 
study area: the American River Parkway Plan adopted 
in 1985 by the Sacramento Board of Supervisors, and 
the South Fork of the American River Management 
Plan adopted in 1984, and amended in 1989, by the El 
Dorado Board of Supervisors. 

Sacramento County 

The American River Parkway has been identified 
through the Sacramento County General Plan as the 
single most important recreational amenity in the 
county. To protect the river corridor from development 
and to preserve an open space linear greenbelt, the 
Sacramento County Board of Supervisors decided in 
1962 to develop a detailed plan for the American River 
Parkway. With revisions to this plan in 1976 and again 
in 1984, the American River Parkway Plan has evolved 
into a comprehensive recreation plan implemented by 
the Sacramento County Parks and Recreation Depart- 
ment. The Parkway Plan is a policy document provid- 



54 



ing guidelines for preservation, recreational use, 
development, and administration. There are five 
specific goals and 1 1 specific policy concepts identified 
in the plan. Within the 1 1 major policy concepts, there 
are more than 1 00 specific policies listed to guide 
administration of the Parkway. The five goals identified 
in the 1984 American River Parkway Plan are: 

A. "To provide, protect and enhance for public use a 
continuous open space greenbelt along the 
American River extending from the Sacramento 
River to Folsom Dam. 

B. "To provide appropriate access and facilities so 
that present and future generations can enjoy the 
amenities and resources of the Parkway which 
enhance the enjoyment of leisure activities. 

C. 'To preserve, protect, interpret and improve the 
natural, archaeological, historical and recreational 
resources of the Parkway, including an adequate 
flow of high quality water, anadromous and 
resident fishes, migratory and resident wildlife, and 
diverse natural vegetation. 

D. "To mitigate adverse effects of activities and 
facilities adjacent to the Parkway. 

E. "To provide safety and protection within and 
adjacent to the Parkway." 

El Dorado County 

El Dorado County is currently rewriting its General 
Plan. The South Fork of the American River Manage- 
ment Plan will be amended as a separate component 
of the recreation element section of the General Plan. 
The River Management Plan focuses specifically on 
the section of the South Fork from Chili Bar to the 
Salmon Falls Bridge, one of the segments included in 
this study. On August 10, 1976, the El Dorado County 
Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance making it 
unlawful to "float, swim or travel in said waterway by 
any artificial means." A subsequent court ruling 
declared the ordinance invalid because it would 
effectively ban all public use of the river. Based upon 
the decision of the Court, and the desire of the County 
Board of Supervisors to manage the river, the County 
Planning Department prepared the South Fork of the 
American River Management Plan. The River Man- 
agement Plan addresses goals and objectives of 
landowners and boaters, commercial and non-com- 
mercial uses, ancillary river land uses, monitoring and 
law enforcement, and funding sources to implement 
the plan. 



PSacer County 

Placer County is currently updating its General Plan. 
Completion is expected within three years. A majority 
of the land found within the study area in Placer 
County is federally owned. Therefore, Placer County 
doesn't have a site specific recreation management 
plan for lands within the study area. Under the Recre- 
ation Element of the 1971 Placer County General Plan, 
recreation use potential and environmental impacts 
were assessed by establishing a land classification 
system. Those federal and private lands found along 
the North and Middle Forks of the American River were 
classified as Class V - Primitive Area. The characteris- 
tics found in Primitive Areas were defined as: 

"those lands that are extensively natural, 
wild and undeveloped, with a setting 
removed from the sights, sounds, and 
smells of civilization. The area must be 
large enough and so located as to give the 
user the feeling that they are enjoying a 
wilderness experience. Class V lands are 
those lands above 7,000 feet in elevation as 
well as all lands over 40% in slope." 

Even though the General Plan was written in 1971, the 
Auburn Project lands have virtually remained un- 
changed; therefore the Primitive classification still 
applies. Recommended recreation activities for lands 
now included within the Auburn Project area were 
limited to those that could be pursued without benefit of 
road access. The plan also recommended against the 
developments of permanent habitations or recreation 
facilities. Development of trail systems were found to 
be acceptable in the American River Canyon. 

NRA Management 
Alternatives 

Single Agency 

Management could be exercised by or through a single 
federal agency. The NRA criterion for direct federal 
involvement or substantial federal participation does 
not preclude establishment of an administrative 
relationship between federal, state, or local govern- 
ments, such as the interagency management agree- 
ments existing for Folsom Lake and for Auburn Project 
lands between the Bureau of Reclamation and Califor- 
nia Department of Parks and Recreation. 

Management by a single agency is the most common 
approach in the 34 existing NRAs. However, the study 
area is unique because of the number of land manag- 



es 



ing agencies within its boundaries and because of the 
existing high level of emphasis being given to recre- 
ation by these agencies. 

Typically NRAs managed by a single agency have 
been designated where single federal agency adminis- 
tration existed prior to designation and in association 
with an existing recreational attraction such as an 
existing reservoir, undeveloped urban land, urban or 
wildland river settings, a special interest area within the 
boundary of an established federal unit, or a portion of 
a National Forest. 

Several NRAs, especially among those in the eastern 
United States, have been formed from lands regulated 
by a multiplicity of state and local governments with 
little or no federal public land when the NRA was 
authorized. To a significant extent, NRA establishment 
in these cases was to "preserve" a unique recreational 
opportunity from certain urban encroachment. 

The size of an NRA may be a consideration in deter- 
mining management alignment, but size is probably 
less important than other factors such as in-place 
agency recreation management infrastructure, land 
ownership, agency mission, financial capability, or 
uniformity and simplification which may be more easily 
attained under single agency management. 

Multi-Agency 

Management could be exercised through two or more 
federal, state, or county agencies. Current land and 
recreation management within the study area fits this 
description. 

It is feasible under certain circumstances to reduce the 
number of managing agencies in a given area. From a 
recreation perspective, streamlining in this way typi- 
cally equates to improved efficiency and uniformity. 
Conversion from multi-agency to single agency man- 
agement within the study area is theoretically possible, 
but not practical. 

Reducing the number of land managing or regulatory 
agencies in the study area is likely to be precluded for 
a number of reasons pertaining to why individual 
agencies should maintain a management or regulatory 
presence. The extensive commitment that the Califor- 
nia Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento 
County and El Dorado County have made to their 
recreation programs as evidenced by investments in 
land and improvements and by longstanding 
interagency agreements is an example of this in the 
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, American River 
Parkway, and South Fork segments of the study area. 



There are similar examples in each segment of the 
study area. 

The opportunity for some form of consolidation may be 
greatest in the Auburn Project and North Fork Wild 
River segments where federal public land ownership is 
more extensive, recreation development is on a lower 
scale, and the land base is largely in federal owner- 
ship. If management changes are deemed desirable, 
NRA objectives may be met by streamlining recreation 
management instead of reducing the number of land 
managing agencies within the study area. 

The following may be useful mechanisms for streamlin- 
ing recreation management: 

Interagency Agreements 

Interagency agreements are a means of consolidating 
management responsibilities to the extent the respec- 
tive agencies agree is appropriate. There are currently 
operating agreements for Whitewater recreation 
management in the North Fork Wild River and Auburn 
Project segments of the study area. Similarly, Sacra- 
mento County manages lands in the American River 
Parkway within the City of Sacramento and California 
Department of Parks and Recreation manages recre- 
ation for the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Interagency agreements may be used to accomplish 
other objectives. For example, although integration has 
not been accomplished, federal and state managing 
agencies within the Santa Monica Mountains NRA 
realize there would be operating efficiencies associ- 
ated with sharing a headquarters facility and visitor 
center and have this type of integration as a future 
goal. 

Advisory Groups 

A provision for an advisory group, including its size and 
composition, has been included in NRA enabling 
legislation several times. Advisory groups become 
increasingly useful as the management situation 
becomes more complex, such as along the 48 miles of 
river which is the central feature of the Chattahoochee 
River NRA in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Con- 
versely, such an organization might be less important 
even under multi-agency management where each 
agency has an autonomous division of the NRA. 
Examples of the latter are urban river versus rural or 
river canyon, river oriented recreation versus lake 
oriented recreation, and river canyons versus foothill or 
forested uplands. 



58 



Joint Power Authority 

There are no examples of joint powers arrangements 
within the existing network of NRAs. 

Federal Property Transfer 

Congress has authorized federal agency property 
transfers to occur within several NRAs. The following 
is an excerpt from the Hells Canyon, Oregon Dunes, 
and Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks NRA legislation: 

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
any Federal property located within the 
boundaries of the recreation area may, with 



the concurrence of the agency having 
custody thereof, be transferred without 
consideration to the administrative jurisdic- 
tion of the Secretary for use by him in 
implementing the purposes of this Act." 

Coordinated Planning 

The variety of resources and levels of governmental 
management responsibilities lends itself to a logical 
coordinated resource management planning effort for 
an NRA authorized in the area. Broad land use objec- 
tives to guide all agencies in meeting their manage- 
ment responsibilities together with an advisory group 
would result in more efficient and effective on the 
ground actions. 



57 



58 



Chapter Five 
Effects of NRA Designation 



Public interest in an area under consideration as an 
NRA often generates questions about what the effects 
of such a designation will be. These often include: 
How is private property affected? Will I be permitted to 
develop my land? Will I be able to continue using my 
property in the same way I have in the past? Will land 
values be affected? Will public use increase? What 
are the economic effects? 

Answers to these questions depend on the specific 
enabling legislation passed by Congress and the 
implementation of this direction by the managing 
agency. Until this step has been completed, replies to 
such questions are speculative. Simply stated, specific 
details of NRA management are put into effect through 
a management plan following designation by Con- 
gress. 

However, some indication of the effects which might 
accompany designation can be derived from existing 
NRAs. Some of the effects which cannot be described 
or quantified precisely may also be addressed in a 
useful manner through the use of estimates or in 
general terms. 

This chapter explores some of the effects of NRA 
designation under the headings of Land Acquisition, 
Private Land Regulation, Land Value Effects, Eco- 
nomic Implications, Recreation, and Protection and 
Management of Other Resources. 



Land Acquisition 



When designated, some NRAs have contained few 
private land inholdings while others have included 
extensive tracts of private land. The Gauley River 
NRA was formed without federally managed land in the 
key portion of the NRA. The Santa Monica Mountains 
NRA contained almost no federal land when desig- 
nated. 

Mitchell (1988) summarized this topic in a report for 
Mono County, California in the following manner: 

"All NRA legislation authorizes the acquisi- 
tion of any land or interests in lands (includ- 
ing mineral interests and scenic easements) 
necessary to accomplish the purposes of 
the legislation. A 'scenic easement' is 
defined as 'the right to control the use of the 
land in order to protect the aesthetic values 
for the purposes of the Act, but shall not 
preclude the continuation of any use 
exercised by the owner as of the date of the 
Act.' 

"Lands may be acquired by donation, 
purchase with donated or appropriated 
funds, exchange, bequest, or other means. 
Federal property located within a recreation 



59 



area is transferred to the administrative 
jurisdiction of the agency managing the 
recreation area. [Note: The study team 
found that legislation often leaves the 
matter of land transfers between federal 
agencies to the respective agencies and 
makes concurrence a condition.] Land 
owned by a state or its political subdivisions 
can be acquired only through donation or 
exchange. The bulk of private lands are 
acquired through scenic easements and 
land exchanges. No private lands or 
interest in private lands can be acquired 
without the consent of the owner if the use 
of that land is certified as conforming to the 
applicable land use regulations. [Note: The 
study team identified an exception to this 
statement. Legislation commonly authorizes 
acquisition of land clearly required for public 
use to achieve NRA objectives without 
owner consent.] Private lands that do not 
conform may be acquired by condemnation. 

"Most legislation authorizes the appropria- 
tion of funds for the acquisition of lands and 
interest in lands. However, more recent 
legislation omits any authorization for 
appropriations." 

The following are excerpts of specific direction pertain- 
ing to land acquisition from a number of NRA enabling 
legislation documents. They demonstrate a variety of 
ways and varying degrees of specificity in which the 
subject of landownership within an NRA may be 
addressed in enabling legislation. The excerpts are 
grouped by the type of direction being given. 

Acquisition Method 

"The Secretary shall acquire by purchase 
with donated or appropriated funds, by gift, 
exchange, condemnation, transfer from any 
Federal agency, or otherwise, such lands, 
waters, or interests therein within the 
boundaries of the recreation area as he 
determines to be needed or desirable for 
the purposes of the Act." (Spruce Knob- 
Seneca Rocks NRA) 

"With respect to improved properties, as 
defined, the Secretary may acquire scenic 
easements or such other interest as, is his 
judgment, are necessary for the purposes of 
the recreation area." (Cuyahoga Valley 
NRA) 



Acquisition Limitation 



"Fee title to improved properties shall not be 
acquired unless such lands are being used, 
or are threatened with uses, which are 
detrimental to the purposes of the recre- 
ation area, or unless such acquisition is 
necessary to fulfill the purposes of the Act." 
(Santa Monica Mountains NRA) 

"There are hereby authorized to be appro- 
priated no more than $1 ,200,000 for the 
acquisition of land and interest in land." 
(Lake Mead NRA) 

"Acquisition is authorized. ...PROVIDED, 
that acquisitions of lands or interests therein 
for access to and utilization of public 
property, and for recreation and other 
facilities, shall not exceed five per centum of 
the total acreage of all private property 
within the recreation area as of the effective 
date of the Act." (Sawtooth NRA) 

"The total area within the recreation area 
may not exceed six thousand three hundred 
acres." (Chattahoochee River NRA) 



Acquisition Condition 



'The Secretary may utilize condemnation 
proceedings to acquire private lands or 
interests therein only in cases where, in his 
judgment, all reasonable efforts to acquire 
such lands or interests therein by negotia- 
tions have failed, and in such cases he shall 
acquire only such title, as in his judgement, 
is necessary to accomplish the objectives of 
this Act." (Sawtooth NRA) 

"The owner of an improved property, as a 
condition of acquisition, may retain for 
himself, heirs and assigns, a right to use 
and occupancy of the improved property for 
noncommercial residential or agricultural 
purposes, for a definite term of not more 
than twenty-five years, or in lieu thereof for 
a term ending at the death of the owner or 
the death of his spouse, whichever is later." 
(Cuyahoga Valley NRA) 

In recent years the trend has been away from acquisi- 
tion of inholdings through eminent domain proceedings 
unless the private land is clearly required for public 
purposes, either for public recreation use or to other- 
wise meet the intent of the legislation. 



60 



Scenic easements are an acquisition of a partial 
interest with fee title remaining in private ownership. 
These easements serve useful purposes at less cost 
than acquisition in fee, but are not always a desirable 
alternative. 

Those responses that addressed the issue of eminent 
domain were unanimous in opposing the use of this 
authority for any land acquisition within the study area. 
The Bureau recommends that Congress fully consider 
this overwhelming public opposition to eminent domain 
authority in any future American River NRA legislation. 
Congress should further consider the public preference 
for a "willing seller/willing buyer" method of land 
acquisition. 

Private Land Regulation 

Recreation is the predominant public use intended for 
an NRA. Therefore, regulation or control of land use 
within the NRA is usually required in some form to 
achieve this end. 

The 1988 Mono County report summarized the subject 
in the following way: 

"The administration of private lands within 
an NRA including the use, subdivision, and 
development of those lands, can be regu- 
lated in one of two ways. The preferred 
method is to use the county regulatory 
process to ensure that private land use is 
compatible with the purposes of the NRA. 
For cases in which this proves to be 
unfeasible, federal regulations are devel- 
oped for the same purpose. When the 
county regulatory process is used the 
managing agency is given the authority to 
approve the zoning ordinance and any 
amendments to it." 

A number of NRAs include residential subdivisions. 
There are several which include full service communi- 
ties. Lakehead, California in the Whiskeytown-Shasta- 
Trinity NRA and Stanley, Idaho within the Sawtooth 
NRA are examples of the latter. 

From a recreational perspective, a linear river segment 
of an NRA should ideally be a continuous river seg- 
ment, especially when there are linear uses such as 
rafting. However, there are options. The 
Chattahoochee River NRA is an example of a frag- 
mented recreation area consisting of 16 separate units 
along a 48-mile segment of the Chattahoochee River 
near Atlanta. 



Land Value Effects 

There are no clear indicators on the issue of land value 
effects. The focus is usually on whether property 
values will depreciate or stagnate as a result of land 
and property being included within the NRA. An 
accelerated rate of property value appreciation is 
generally considered acceptable. 

The Auburn project, whether a water impounding or 
flood retention project, would have its own influence on 
the value of property in the project vicinity independent 
of NRA influences. In this region of California neither 
type of dam project is likely to have a negative effect 
on local land values. 

In relation to the NRA, property values may be affected 
by the legislation and subsequent management actions 
to achieve NRA objectives. Zoning or ordinances 
pertaining to private land and property within an NRA 
could affect values in either direction or not at all. 
Regulation of paint colors, type of construction materi- 
als, sign sizes, and building height are examples of 
minor controls which would have little or no effect on 
values. Regulation of lot densities within subdivisions 
or a prohibition of commercial property development, 
except where it is to serve recreation use, are ex- 
amples of regulations more likely to affect values. It 
may be assumed that regulatory actions will not be 
required to any appreciable extent within the Auburn 
project boundary largely because lands which are key 
to reservoir operation and recreational use are publicly 
owned at this time or are included in the acquisition 
plan for the project. This assumption is based on no 
disposal of federally owned lands under various 
Auburn Dam alternatives. 

It is not foreseeable that property adjacent to the 
American River Parkway and Folsom Reservoir would 
be affected at all if these two segments were included 
in an NRA. The same should generally be applicable 
to existing uses of developed land adjacent to the 
South Fork as well. There may be justifiable argu- 
ments for easements, such as for access at various 
points or for aesthetic purposes along the South Fork, 
but not for major changes in land use. Landowners are 
compensated for easements. 

The following clause has been included in legislation 
several times. It provides a means of resolving adverse 
effects on property owners. 

"In exercising his authority to acquire 
property under this Act, the Secretary shall 
give prompt and careful consideration to 
any offer made by an individual owning 



61 



property within the recreation area to sell 
such property, if such individual notifies the 
Secretary that the continued ownership of 
such property is causing, or would result in, 
undue hardship." (Arapaho, Cuyahoga 
Valley, Santa Monica Mountains and 
Sawtooth NRAs) 

Economic Implications 

1 . Commodity Production 

NRA designation and management plan imple- 
mentation at some of the existing NRAs resulted 
in land use changes. In a local context these 
changes may have been significant, altering the 
goods or commodities being produced. Com- 
modity production in the canyon lands of this 
study area is relatively low. A high percentage of 
the land within the Auburn Project and North Fork 
Wild River segments is currently in public owner- 
ship, therefore designation would not cause a 
significant change in ownership. 

Forest products, grazing, and mining are ex- 
amples of land-based commodity and income 
producing activities in the study area. There is 
precedence for continuation of these uses within 
NRAs. The same uses can also be eliminated to 
accomplish NRA objectives. In most NRAs 
agrarian uses such as crop farming have been 
deemed compatible. Legislation establishing the 
Santa Monica Mountains NRA in the populous 
southern California area provides for continuation 
of agricultural uses, together with [agricultural] 
structures, existing at the date of designation to 
continue unless detrimental to the NRA or unless 
the land is needed to fulfill the purposes of the 
NRA. The rationale for land use changes should 
be based on identified needs for changes re- 
quired to meet NRA objectives. 

2. Tax Revenue 

Establishment of an NRA on lands acquired for 
the dam and reservoir would have no additional 
affect on ad valorem tax revenue. Additional 
acquisition for NRA purposes would remove land 
from the tax roll and make it subject to federal in- 
lieu-of taxes payments, an amount likely to be 
somewhat less than private land value taxes. 

If zoning ordinances and easements have the 
effect of reducing the value of property, the 
revenue derived from property taxes would be 
affected similarly. 



An increase in the amount of recreational use 
would generate some local sales tax revenue 
from the retail, tourism, and service sectors. 

3. Recreation Spending 

There have been no formal economic studies of 
the effects that recreational spending associated 
with use of Auburn Project lands has on the local 
area. There are also no economic projections for 
recreational spending under the various water 
alternatives. 

A statewide study made by the California Department 
of Parks and Recreation entitled The Recreation and 
Leisure Industry's Contribution to California's Economy 
(1984) indicated the following average daily expendi- 
tures for certain recreation activities which also occur 
on project lands: 



Horseback Riding 


$19.78 


Picnicking 


13.02 


Hiking and Backpacking 


13.73 


Camping 


29.05 


Boating 


33.53 


Fishing 


32.00 


Hunting 


65.00 



Recreation 

1 . Levels of Use 

National designation does have the potential to 
increase recreation use. Designation of some of 
the existing NRAs to a large extent created or 
significantly enhanced recreational opportunities 
and as a result appreciably affected patterns of 
use. Recreation use at NRAs established around 
existing reservoirs, along popular river corridors, 
or encompassing unique attractions tends to be 
affected imperceptibly by the act of designation. 
The study area compares to the latter situation 
because it is comprised largely of public land 
which is available for and being used for a wide 
range of recreational activities. There would be 
significant differences between recreation 
associated with a flood retention reservoir and 
recreation in conjunction with a reservoir with 
permanent storage. The differences at Auburn 
are more likely to be a function of which project 
alternative is selected than of NRA status. 

Options or alternatives likely to be considered 
during development of a management plan would 
differ somewhat as to their overall effect upon the 



62 



intensity and distribution of recreation use, but 
there are not likely to be appreciable differences 
in this respect between feasible implementation 
alternatives. 

2. Regulation 

NRA designation does not include a pre-estab- 
lished set of guidelines governing permissible 
recreational activities or eliminating others, as 
occurs with Wilderness or Wild River designation 
where uses such as mechanical means of 
transportation are usually prohibited. This type of 
regulation could be included in the legislation, but 
if it is needed at all, the proper place for address- 
ing the subject for an NRA is usually at the 
management plan level. Similar to land use 
zoning, there are reasons for recreation activity 
zoning, such as to accomplish recreation objec- 
tives, provide for public safety, protect resources, 
etc. For example, off-highway vehicle use, hang- 
gliding, or hunting are permissible activities within 
an NRA, but would not be appropriate in all 
settings. 

Recreation within the Folsom Lake State Recre- 
ation Area and the American River Parkway 
occurs in a more structured atmosphere than in 
the remainder of the study area. Examples 
include more controlled access points, closer 
regulation of activities and behavior, etc. Any 
dam alternative which includes water storage will 
increase the need for management within the 
Auburn Project to move in a direction more 
comparable to that at Folsom Lake and the 
Parkway. This will occur with or without NRA 
designation. 

3. Group Conflicts 

Conflicts resulting from user group incompatibili- 
ties are as much a fact of life in recreation as they 
are in other aspects of our lives. They exist 
between user groups in the study area today and 
can be expected to increase along with higher 
levels of use with or without water storage at 
Auburn. NRA designation is not likely to create 
or worsen these inherent social occurrences, but 
designation is likely to offer an improved avenue 
for resolving or mediating them than would 
otherwise exist. 

4. Future Value 

The impetus for support of designation of several 
existing NRAs was an interest in stemming the 



impending loss of a recreational resource to 
urban development. In the American River 
Parkway, Sacramento County made long-term 
commitments to preserving this significant 
recreation resource in 1959. Although the forks of 
the American River are still somewhat remote 
compared to rivers in the eastern U.S., urbaniza- 
tion in the surrounding area is increasing. A 
significant value of an NRA under the flood 
control dam alternative is the mechanism placed 
into effect to provide for a continuing recreation 
opportunity in essentially a natural setting. An 
NRA in conjunction with an expandable dam 
alternative accomplishes the same thing until 
expansion occurs and then would become a 
reservoir-featured NRA. Linking recreational 
opportunities, such as the segments of the study 
area, is a contemporary way of providing for 
future recreation. 

5. Status Associated with an NRA 

Congressional designation elevates recreational 
significance of each NRA. This status typically 
affects the managing agency's priorities for 
allocation of operational resources among the 
designated and non-designated areas it man- 
ages. 

There is precedence for an NRA to include state 
and county park lands within its boundary. The 
Santa Monica Mountains NRA legislation estab- 
lished a procedure for state and local governmen- 
tal bodies to follow in applying for federal grant 
funding for certain limited purposes, including for 
acquisition of lands, waters, and interests therein. 
The Study Team found no evidence of Congres- 
sional funding to states and local governmental 
bodies for operating parks within an NRA. 

Protection and Management 
of Other Resources 

Conservation and protection of resources is identified 
as a key objective in the enabling legislation for each 
NRA. The legislation directs the managing agency(ies) 
to administer the NRA in accordance with applicable 
laws, rules, and regulations and it usually also provides 
some specific resource management direction. 

The following is a summary of how NRA legislation 
addresses resources and resource use applicable to 
the study area. 



63 



1 . Timber, Grazing, Mining 

These resource uses, when applicable to an 
NRA, are usually addressed under a section of 
the legislation entitled Administration. Continua- 
tion, if deemed acceptable, is provided for by 
legislative language such as the following text 
addressing the conditional acceptability of timber, 
grazing and mining. 

" the management, utilization, and 

disposal of natural resources on 
federally owned lands such as timber, 
grazing, and mineral resources insofar 
as their utilization will not substantially 
impair the purposes for which the 
recreation area is established." 
(Sawtooth NRA) 

The enabling legislation for the Hells Canyon 
NRA contains a section entitled Recreation Area, 
Traditional And Valid Uses which provides 
additional clarity. This section states: 

"Ranching, grazing, farming, timber 
harvesting, and the occupation of 
homes and lands associated there- 
with, as they exist on the date of 
enactment of this Act, are recognized 
as traditional and valid uses of the 
recreation area." 

Where lands within the NRA have been subject to 
the U.S. mining laws, the legislation will contain a 
section entitled Mining if Congress intends to 
withdraw lands within the NRA from location, 
entry, and patent under the mining laws. When 
Congress takes this action, which is common, it is 
largely to protect lands, recognized for their 
recreation importance, from mineral appropriation 
or patent. Lands often remain subject to mineral, 
gas and oil, and geothermal development under 
the leasing laws, but are protected from disposal 
under these laws. 

Enabling legislation for the Sawtooth NRA 
included a unique section to prevent mining 
patents. Federal lands were withdrawn from 
location, entry, and patent under the mining laws 
as of the date of the Act, subject to valid existing 
rights, and the legislation included a section 
which terminated the right to patent a mining 
claim based on rights predating the legislation. 
The language of the section is: 

"Patents shall not hereafter be issued 
for locations and claims heretofore 



made in the recreation area under the 
mining laws of the United States." 

Congress again used an unusual approach to 
address mining in the Flaming Gorge NRA. The 
legislation withdrew the area from location, entry, 
and patent but permitted the Secretary discretion 
to permit removal of these same nonleasable 
category of minerals in the manner prescribed by 
Section 10 of the Act of August 4, 1939. This Act 
includes the following language applying to 
approval of mining when it is: 

"...not incompatible with the purposes 
for which lands or interests are being 
administered, and shall be on such 
terms and conditions as in his judg- 
ment will adequately protect the 
interest of the United States and the 
project for which said lands or interest 
in lands are being administered." 

Most of the federal lands within the Auburn 
project boundary have been withdrawn or appli- 
cation for withdrawal has been made for project 
purposes. Wild River legislation withdrew lands 
within that boundary on the North Fork. There- 
fore, only a small land area within the study area 
on the North and Middle Forks is subject to 
location, entry, and patent at this time except for 
where rights predate withdrawal actions. There 
are public lands on the South Fork both subject to 
and withdrawn from location, entry, and patent 
under the mining laws. 

2. Hunting and Fishing 

These activities are permitted in most Forest 
Service and Bureau of Land Management 
administered NRAs. Frequently a section of the 
legislation entitled Hunting and Fishing is used to 
indicate this expression of intent as well as to 
recognize the continuing applicability of the laws 
and authority of the State. Hunting is usually 
prohibited in National Park Service NRAs, but the 
Park Service does not need authority via the NRA 
legislation to prohibit this activity. 

Legislation which gives zoning authority to the 
Secretary of Agriculture or Interior also may 
include authority to prohibit these activities, to 
restrict them to portions of the NRA, and confine 
them to limited periods of time which the Secre- 
tary may establish after consultation with the 
state fish and game agency. In NRAs where the 
Secretary does not need individual authority to 
regulate hunting and fishing to manage the area, 



64 



any special regulatory measures required to 
achieve NRA objectives are cooperatively 
accomplished under state and county authority to 
enact laws and ordinances and the legislation is 
silent on the subject of federal authority to 
regulate these activities. 

3. Law Enforcement 

The following section from the Hells Canyon NRA 
legislation is usually included in this or similar 
form in legislation for NRAs managed by the 
Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management: 

"Nothing in this Act shall diminish, 
enlarge, or modify any right of the 
States of Idaho, Oregon, or any 
political subdivision thereof, to exer- 
cise civil and criminal jurisdiction 
within the recreation area or of rights 
to tax persons, corporations, fran- 
chises, or property, including mineral 
or other interests, in or on lands or 
waters within the recreation area." 



4. Ecosystems Maintenance 

The Sierra foothills and canyons provide essen- 
tial habitat for many species. This habitat is 
increasingly being encroached upon to accom- 
modate the growing population of California. In 
recent years the importance of home range 
habitat sufficient in size to permit indigenous 
species to maintain their genetic diversity and 
viability has come more sharply into focus. 
Habitat in the river canyons is especially produc- 
tive in terms of the range of species which 
depend on it. In addition, the canyons provide a 
linear linkage of similar habitat. 

While the canyon ecosystem is largely 
unfragmented today because of developmental 
limitations associated with its topography, some 
of the Auburn project lands and lands adjacent to 
the South Fork are both excellent wildlife habitat 
and suitable for development. 

In addition to public recreational benefits, NRA 
designation could also provide a correlating 
benefit of maintaining a high level of biodiversity 
on the lands within its boundary managed for 
multiple resources. 



S5 



66 



Chapter Six 
Summary and Conclusion 



In previous chapters, this report has examined the 
eligibility of the study area for NRA status. Each 
segment's attributes, features, location, and potential 
have been considered and evaluated (Chapter Two). 
This report has also investigated the extent to which 
the recreation qualities of the segments would be 
affected by proposed dam projects, and the effects, 
both beneficial and adverse, have been discussed. 

The findings of this analysis (Chapter Three) indicate 
that, irrespective of which dam alternative is imple- 
mented, the recreational potential of the segments is 
substantial and, based on the four criteria the upper 
three segments (North Fork Wild River, Auburn Project 
and South Fork) definitely qualify as an NRA. Inclusion 
of the lower two segments significantly enhances the 
NRA eligibility. The designation of all five of the study 
segments would create an NRA encompassing a 
variety of recreation resources not represented in any 
existing NRA. Being immediately adjacent and acces- 
sible to major population centers provides considerable 
public benefit. 

The report further describes existing recreation man- 
agement responsibilities within the study area, the 
background and orientation of those agencies currently 
involved in management, as well as those that could 
potentially be involved in future NRA management, and 
the ways in which various agency responsibilities have 
been assigned and successfully integrated in existing 
NRAs (Chapter Four). Potential effects of an NRA 



designation were then considered (Chapter Five) and it 
was determined that none were identified as being 
sufficiently adverse to render an NRA designation 
infeasible. 

If an NRA designation is made, the legislation creating 
the NRA and the management plan prepared pursuant 
to the legislation, will set the final form. The following 
discussion, based on the information gathered and 
analyzed in the course of this study, attempts to 
envision what form an American River NRA might take 
with respect to: 1) area to be included within the 
boundaries; 2) agencies that may be involved in 
administration and the extent of their responsibility; and 
3) opportunities for management and development. 

An NRA whose boundaries include the upper three 
segments (North Fork Wild River, Auburn Project, 
South Fork) would result in a significant recreational 
resource that includes a major U.S. river, with its 
diverse environmental associations. Addition of the 
lower two segments (Folsom Lake SRA and the 
American River Parkway) would include all major 
ecological zones from the Sierra, through transitional 
areas, to the Sacramento Valley. This NRA would 
make available to the public, in a single recreation 
area, the total progression of a river, i.e., the varying 
stages of the water as it flows downward through the 
elevational stair-steps of the various ecosystems. The 
recreationist on foot could find opportunities ranging 
from hiking and backpacking in a remote wilderness 



67 



setting, to walking and jogging virtually in his own 
suburban backyard. Boaters would appreciate activi- 
ties ranging from challenging Whitewater rafting runs to 
more placid canoeing on Lake Natoma. Such an NRA 
would include the majority of the water-based recre- 
ation that is conveniently available to the Sacramento 
metropolitan area, including the most popular Califor- 
nia State Park unit (Folsom Lake State Recreation 
Area) and the most popular Whitewater rafting run in 
the western United States (the South Fork). These 
outdoor recreational opportunities are augmented by 
the presence of many highly significant historic sites. 

An NRA comprised of the North Fork Wild River, 
Auburn Project, and South Fork segments would stand 
alone as a feasible management unit meeting all NRA 
criteria. The addition of Folsom Lake SRA and the 
Lower American River Parkway would create an NRA 
encompassing a variety of recreation resources and 
opportunities not represented in any existing NRA. 

In Chapter Four, this report suggested that, for an NRA 
created within the study area, the most feasible 
management approach might be a multi-agency 
arrangement, where land and recreation management 
would be exercised through two or more federal, state, 
or county agencies. Given the extent of existing 
commitments in some areas by the current managing 
agencies, there is good rationale for their continued 
presence. 

Also to be resolved in the legislative process of NRA 
creation is the issue of which federal agency would be 
assigned overall responsibility for coordinating man- 
agement of the NRA. As Chapter Four indicated, the 
federal agencies most likely to be called on to fulfill this 
role are those currently managing land within the area, 
the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. 

Irrespective of which federal agency might assume the 
role of overall management, it is clear that one of its 
main responsibilities would be effective coordination of 
recreation not only within the NRA area, but also with 
counterpart managing agencies upstream and down- 
stream. Of equal importance would be working closely 
with the agencies managing the commodity most 
important to American River recreation - water. No 
matter how an American River NRA might be config- 
ured, recreational considerations in various jurisdic- 
tions are closely linked by the river, and decisions in 
one area can have a significant effect in another. 
Communication, coordination, consultation, and 
consensus are essential for providing maximum 
recreational benefit to the public. Similarly, coordinated 
resource management among the agencies would 
effectively guide management action. 



A variety of comments were received concerning the 
issue of a federal agency managing an NRA. Some 
responded about another layer of unnecessary bureau- 
cracy and the loss of local autonomy while others 
identified a need for cooperative funding and coordi- 
nated management planning. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the study results indicate that the 
American River Study Area is nationally significant and 
meets the criteria for establishment of an NRA. This 
conclusion is based upon the fact that the study area 
"provides a unique combination of natural, cultural, and 
recreational resources that collectively offer outstand- 
ing opportunities for public use and enjoyment" (Na- 
tional Park Service, 1988), and holds irrespective of 
which water or dam option is selected. The core of an 
NRA designation is the three upper segments, (North 
Fork Wild River, Auburn Project and South Fork). The 
combination of these three segments together meets 
all NRA criteria for designation and is feasible for 
management as an NRA with a combination of natural/ 
cultural resources and recreation opportunities un- 
equalled in any existing NRA. The addition of the 
Folsom Lake SRA segment and the American River 
Parkway segment would significantly enhance the 
American River's eligibility as an NRA. 

Finally, the BLM was unable to draw any conclusions 
on the issue of desirability. The public comments 
received clearly show a wide divergence of opinion on 
whether the affected agencies, elected officials, and 
public groups favor such a designation. It is also 
evident that the various opinions are heavily influenced 
by the flood control or dam debate ongoing in the area 
during preparation of this study. If the issue of a dam 
alternative were resolved, it is possible that a public 
consensus on an NRA could be reached or at least 
public opinions could be clarified on the NRA issue 
alone. 

Since this situation did not exist during the preparation 
of this study, the BLM cannot make a sound recom- 
mendation on the issue of desirability and feels that 
Congress, once the dam issue is resolved, should work 
with the federal, state, and local agencies and groups 
involved to reach a decision. 

Final resolution of "desirability" will depend upon 
whether granting the recreational resources of the 
American River the coordinated management, protec- 
tion, and national stature implicit in NRA designation is 
a worthwhile idea or not. The people of El Dorado, 
Placer and Sacramento Counties, the State of Califor- 
nia and the Nation now have the opportunity to discuss 
these options and decide which is best. 



68 



Chapter Seven 

Public Participation and 

Content Analysis 



Background 



In 1989, Congress directed the Bureau of Land Man- 
agement (BLM) to conduct a study of a possible 
National Recreation Area (NRA) on the American River 
in California. The study was to be completed by 
September 30, 1990. 

To accomplish this objective, BLM set up a study team 
in Folsom, California and began contacting as many 
interested or affected groups, agencies, and individuals 
as possible. Through these and other sources, data 
were gathered on the area, its managing agencies, its 
resources, and its uses. A steering committee and 
executive committee were set up to keep key people 
informed on the progress of the study and advise the 
study team during the drafting of the report. 

The draft study report was completed in May 1990 and 
mailed to all government agencies and private organi- 
zations with a stated interest, as well as to those 
individuals who had attended the scoping meetings 
and had expressed an interest in the study. Three 
public meetings were scheduled in Sacramento, 
Auburn and Placerville, and due to a larger audience 
than anticipated in Placerville, a fourth meeting was 
scheduled in Shingle Springs. The public was encour- 
aged to submit both written and oral comments on the 
study. 



The BLM received comments from approximately 9400 
respondents who submitted more than 15,000 com- 
ments to support their opinions. Each input, i.e., letter, 
post card, resolution, petition, etc. was counted as one 
response. Throughout this analysis percentages and 
numbers relate to either respondents or comments and 
are clearly identified for comparison. It should be 
noted that in this objective process, all responses are 
considered equal. That is, a resolution from a county 
board of supervisors is equal to one response, as is a 
post card from an organized campaign. Therefore, the 
numbers are only an indicator of the level of response; 
readers are advised to carefully examine the following 
written as well as tabular information to see the broad 
spectrum of public comments and judge for themselves 
the importance or "weight" of a particular comment. 
Later in this chapter BLM lists the positions recorded 
by elected officials, agencies, groups, etc. to aid in this 
review. 

It should also be noted that 82% of the responses 
received were generated by special interest cam- 
paigns. Two major campaigns surfaced: one initiated 
by river users (38%) and the other was a printed post 
card campaign (35%). A third campaign was con- 
ducted by Oakland Technical High School as a project 
for Earth Day. 

Of the 15,000 comments received, only 295 (3%) 
focused on the study report itself. The large majority 

69 



(14,772 or 97%) addressed the dam issue or took a 
position pro or con an NRA. Although outside the 
scope of the Bureau's feasibility study, the dam issues 
and the NRA pro/con issues were also analyzed and 
summarized because of the preponderance of interest 
in these two subjects. The comments that specifically 
addressed the study were used extensively in prepar- 
ing the final report. 

Because of the large numbers of responses, BLM was 
not able to respond individually to the comments as is 
often done in Environmental Impact Statements under 
the National Environmental Policy Act. Even though 
this study is being done under other Congressional 
authorization, BLM would still have preferred to 
respond individually if a lower number of responses 
had been received. However, we have attempted to 
summarize these comments as objectively as possible 
and respond to them collectively wherever appropriate 
in the document. 

Highlights of these comments follow in this chapter and 
in Appendix A. The letters, hearings transcripts, and 
other actual inputs are located at the BLM's office in 
Folsom and are open to public inspection at any time. 
In addition, copies of the hearings transcripts are 
included with this study for Congress. 

Analysis Process 

At the direction of BLM State Director Ed Hastey a 
public comment analysis team was established to 
process, consolidate and summarize the 9400 re- 
sponses received. The first step was to build a com- 
puter program to organize demographic data about the 
respondents and their comments. A team of 1 6 
individuals from the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service 
was established. In order to provide an objective 
analysis, none of the public comment team had 
participated on the NRA study team. Twelve members 
of the team coded each response onto a computer 
input form and four members did the actual computer 
input. 

The method used, content analysis, provides an 
objective and systematic means for analyzing public 
response to land management issues. It has been 
successfully applied in hundreds of similar land 
management studies since 1973. 

The purpose of the analysis was to objectively capture 
the opinions (and reasons supporting these opinions) 
expressed by the public. Some information, ideas, 
opinions and reasons were expressed that did not 
specifically pertain to the study or were too detailed 
and complex to standardize onto the coding form. A 



separate process was designed to handle these 
comments and they are summarized in this content 
analysis. 

To maintain the objectivity of the coding process, the 
coders were carefully and consistently trained and the 
coding was monitored continuously. Reliability checks 
were made each day of the process, with the team 
leader providing quality control checks on each coder. 
Coding problems were resolved as they arose and the 
entire group was apprised of new updates, additional 
reason categories, etc. 

Three major issues, with various options, were identi- 
fied: 



1 . The BLM Study • 
suggestions 



Comments, criticism, and 



2. NRA Designation — pro and con, and with 
specific modifications 

3. Dam Alternatives — pro and con (No dam, multi- 
purpose dam, and dry dam) 

These major issues remained constant throughout the 
process; however, the list of reasons given continued 
to grow. Each issue had a constantly increasing 
number of reasons because as new reasons surfaced 
they were added to the codebook. Content analysis is 
a dynamic process and was designed to accommodate 
these updates. The system allowed for five reasons to 
be coded for each issue. Rarely did a respondent give 
more than five reasons. Respondents with more than 
five reasons were handled independently, and are 
summarized in the content analysis. 

Each issue was first coded for opinion. If the respon- 
dent stated he/she was 'lor" the issue, it was coded a 
"1 ." If the responder stated he/she was "against" the 
issue, it was coded a "2." Every reason was given a 
number, and after checking the response for an 
opinion, the coder then checked for reasons supporting 
the writer's opinion. One or more reasons were coded 
into the five spaces provided on the code form. As 
new reasons appeared, the group discussed the merits 
of adding them to the codebook and if a consensus 
was reached, the reason was added. 

Each letter, post card, resolution, and public comment 
was also given a unique response number. The 
responses were categorized by type and form. The 
types coded were: 

01 Individual (no stated affiliation) 

02 Individual-Affiliated (organization or interest 
group) 



70 



03 Organization (business/organization, on letter- 
head) 

04 Local Elected (municipal or county) 

05 State Elected (Assembly, Senate) 

06 Federally Elected (House, Senate) 

07 Local Agency (City or County) 

08 State Agency 

09 Federal Agency 

1 Utilities (quasi-public) 

11 Water District 

The forms coded were: 

01 Personal letters, reports, hand-written postcards 

02 Oral Comments (Public Meetings) 

03 Petitions 

04 Form Letter/Campaign - General 

05 Post Card Campaign 

06 Form Letter/Campaign - Rafters Campaign 

07 Letter Campaign - Oakland Technical High 
School - Earth Day 

08 Resolutions 

09 Public Opinion Survey 

The majority of the responses were in one of three 
forms: 01 -personal letters (1540 responses); 05-post 
card campaign (3347); and 06-rafters campaign 
(3658). 

Each letter was coded for City and State or country. A 
data base was established to identify the county from 
which California responses originated. By entering the 
name of the California city, the county code was 
automatically assigned by the computer. Out-of-state 
responses were coded by state only, and out-of- 
country responses were assigned a separate code 
(ZZ). 

The number of signatures per response was recorded; 
if "Mr. and Mrs." were signed in one handwriting, it was 
counted as two signatures. Some letters were signed 
by five to six individuals; in each case, the correct 
number of signatures was coded onto the code form. 
However, BLM did not attribute total representation of 
a single input if signatures were not included. Data 
simply were not available to determine if an organiza- 
tion or government entity, for example, represented a 
specific, verifiable number of people. 

A "new information" code was established for those 
instances when a respondent had unique or specific 
information which could not be captured on the coding 
form, or when more than five reasons were given. This 
was considered a 'flag,' and all responses coded this 
way were reviewed for content separately and are 



included in the Content Analysis. The majority of these 
comments referred to studying the American River for 
"Wild and Scenic River" status. 

Some letters contained more detailed comments which 
could not be succinctly coded. These letters were 
further analyzed by summarizing the contents of each 
correspondence. Statements from these letters are 
also included in this analysis. 

Description of Responses 

Comments were received from a variety of sources. 
Most were from private citizens; comments were also 
received from elected officials, federal, state and local 
agencies, businesses, organizations, utilities, and 
water districts. The tables at the end of this chapter list 
the major issues identified by the public and the range 
of opinions regarding these issues. In addition to 
coding for content, a sample of the public responses, 
particularly those with more specific comments, was 
summarized. This summary, with highlights and 
excerpts from these responses, is included in 
Appendix A. 

The opinions of the respondents were strongly polar- 
ized. Respondents who were in favor of the NRA were 
generally against a dam and often reacted favorably to 
BLM's draft study. Those who were against the NRA 
were often in favor of a dam at Auburn, and disagreed 
with BLM's draft study (Table 7-1). 

From a geographic perspective, responses pro or con 
the NRA were received from most of California's 58 
counties. Fifty percent (3,541 responses) of the pro- 
NRA responses were from five counties: Alameda 
(986), San Francisco (702), Los Angeles (652), Santa 
Clara (633), and Sacramento (568). Conversely, 93% 
(334 responses) of the con-NRA responses were from 
three counties, El Dorado (228), Placer (57), and 
Sacramento (49) counties. 

In the tri-county area (El Dorado, Placer and Sacra- 
mento), 1 ,389 responses of the 1 ,534 inputs received 
from these counties took a pro/con position on the 
NRA issue. Seventy-six percent (1,054 responses) 
were pro-NRA and 24% (335 responses) were con- 
NRA. The county breakdowns follow: El Dorado 
County, 482 total responses, 47% (228 responses) 
were con-NRA, and 53% (254 responses) were pro- 
NRA; Placer County, 290 total responses, 20% (58 
responses) were con-NRA and 80% pro-NRA (232 
responses); and Sacramento County, 617 total re- 
sponses, 8% con NRA (49 responses) and 92% (568 
responses) pro-NRA. 



71 



Only three percent (3%) of the total respondents 
specifically addressed the study. These responses 
were mostly personal letters, or oral comments given 
at the public hearings. These respondents were 
divided into three major categories: 

1) those who commented on the draft without stating a 
firm stance on the NRA designation, 2) those who 
commented on the draft and stated they were in favor 
of NRA designation, and 3) those who commented on 
the draft and stated they were opposed to NRA 
designation. 

Respondents who provided detailed comments by 
category are outlined below. These are followed by 
the analysis and summary of the comments received 
on the three major issue categories. 



1 ) The following Individuals and agencies were 
among those who made detailed comments about 
the study without stating a firm position in favor of 
or opposing the NRA: 

Elected Officials 

California Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg 

Federal Agencies 

Army Corps of Engineers (Sacramento District) 

U.S. Bureau of Mines 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

State Agencies 

California Department of Fish and Game 
California Department of Transportation 
California Fish and Game Commission 
State of California Department of Boating and 

Waterways 
State Lands Commission 

Local Agencies 

American River Flood Control District 

City of Sacramento Water Division 

City of Sacramento Flood Control and Sewers Division 

Commission 
Reclamation District 1000 
Sacramento County Department of Parks and 

Recreation 
Sacramento County Parks and Recreation 

Commission 
Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency 
Sacramento City Council 
Sacramento County Board of Supervisors 



Sacramento County Water Resources Division 
Sutter County Board of Supervisors 

Organizations 

California Native Plant Society 

2) The following agencies and organizations made 
detailed comments about the study and stated that 
they were in favor of an NRA: 

Federal Agencies 

Environmental Protection Agency 
National Park Service 

State Agencies 

California Energy Commission 

Organizations 

American River Coalition 

Defenders of Wildlife 

Environmental Defense Fund 

Friends of the River 

Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Planning and Conservation League 

Protect American River Canyons 

Sacramento Audubon Society 

San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club 

Western River Guides Association 

Wilderness Interpretation from Forestville 

Wilderness Society 

Wildwater Designs 

Individuals 

Various local residents, other citizens throughout 
California, and out of state residents who had visited 
the American River canyons also favored NRA desig- 
nation. 

3) The following organizations made detailed 
comments about the study and stated they were 
opposed to an NRA: 

Elected Officials 

Congressman Wally Herger 
Congressman Norm Shumway 
Senator John T. Doolittle 
Assemblyman Tim Leslie 
Assemblyman Norman S. Waters 



72 



Federal Agencies 

Bureau of Reclamation 

State Agencies 

Department of Parks and Recreation 
Department of Water Resources 
The Resources Agency 

Local Agencies 

American River Flood Control District 

American River Authority 

Auburn City Council 

Auburn Dam Council 

California Central Valley Flood Control Association 

Citrus Heights Irrigation District Board of Directors 

County of Placer Board of Supervisors 

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors 

El Dorado County Water Agency 

El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce 

Fair Oaks Water District Board of Directors 

Folsom City Council 

Georgetown Divide Public Utility District 

Granite Bay Municipal Advisory Council of Placer 

County 
Northside Fire Protection District 
Orangevale Mutual Water Company 
Placer County Water Agency 
Rancho Murieta Community Services District 
Sacramento Area Water Authority 
San Juan Suburban Water District Board of Directors 
San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors 

Organizations 

Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce 

Building Association of Superior California 

California Chamber of Commerce 

California State Grange 

California Cattlemen's Association 

Coker-Ewing (Realtors) 

Construction and General Laborers Local #185 

Cook & Cook Realtors 

Cool-Pilot Hill Advisory Committee 

El Dorado Association of Realtors, Inc. 

Folsom Lake Marina 

Greater Auburn Property Owners Association 

Labor and Business Alliance of the Capitol Area 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company 

Palisades Development Inc. 

Real Estate Network 

Small Business Management 



Individuals 

Various local residents also expressed their disap- 
proval of NRA designation. 

Content Analysis 

1 . Comments Regarding the NRA Feasibility Study 

Comments which specifically addressed the study are 
summarized here, but are also referred to within the 
study itself, abng with BLM's response to the specific 
suggestions. Editorial comments and other similar 
information were incorporated into the study wherever 
possible. 

Groups and individuals favoring the NRA often agreed 
with BLM's conclusions and complimented BLM's 
efforts: "Designation of the American River NRA is 
clearly feasible. The study team has done an out- 
standing job of compiling information ...and has 
presented it in a very readable and understandable 
fashion." 

"BLM has done its work fairly. Its draft report indicates 
that there are resources that would be worth preserv- 
ing in a national recreation area at Auburn no matter 
what kind of structure gets built." 

The "...report was well written and well organized, 
...well suited for the defined purpose," and "...the 
Bureau did an excellent job of identifying the values of 
the rivers." 

Other respondents also pointed out what they felt were 
omissions and errors in the Draft Study: "There is 
insufficient discussion of habitat values of the rivers 
and canyons and how management for recreation 
would interfere or enhance them." 

Substantial concern was registered by residents in the 
affected area about personal property rights and 
condemnation of private property (eminent domain): 
"...the lack of clarity as to whether private lands are 
included in the study has led to extreme concern and 
confusion on the part of the public." 

Several comments were received concerning the 
criteria, i.e. "criteria are vague" and "area studied does 
not meet NRA criteria." 

"BLM violated Congressional directives by including 
the lower American River in the study area, and by not 
explicitly assessing whether the established criteria for 
an NRA would be met if a flood control dam and if a 
multi-purpose dam were constructed in the Auburn 
canyon." 

73 



The "Study fails to substantiate the need for a NRA 
designation, and, further, guarantees neither the 
improvement of recreational opportunities nor greater 
resource protection...." 

"The procedure used to label the archaeological, 
cultural and natural resources as 'nationally significant' 
or 'outstanding' has not been explained or substanti- 
ated." 

"...the notion used in your study (BLM's) that national 
stature is implicit with an NRA designation is com- 
pletely unfounded." Also, BLM's study "...cites places 
of national historic significance outside of the area it 
recommends for inclusion in a NRA as reasons to 
justify a recreation area." 

The study "...lacks the necessary unbiased documen- 
tation to support the claim that the American River 
Study Area is nationally significant and meets the 
criteria for establishment of an NRA." 

Other respondents felt that trade-offs were not fully 
analyzed: "...the report fails to mention the positive 
impacts of broader-based recreational opportunities 
above the Auburn Dam if it is built, and it fails to 
mention the negative impacts to Recreation Areas 
below the dam site if the dam is not built." 

Some respondents addressed lack of specific resource 
information: "...facts and figures on relative recreational 
use were withheld which make it difficult for a decision 
maker to use the study to reach a conclusion on the 
nature of the NRA." 

"...if most of the recreation at an Auburn Reservoir 
would be flatwater boating, how many people per year 
would use the facilities? If most of the current recre- 
ation values of the Auburn Project Area land would be 
lost, how many of the current 500,000 recreatbn users 
would return annually?" "I believe these calculations 
need to be made so that the relative merits of a river- 
based NRA versus a reservoir-based NRA can be 
judged." 

"...there needs to be substantial additional information 
provided and considered before the Agency can take 
any position for or against the designation...." 

The study "...fails to address the use of the American 
River as a water supply resource for the region, or how 
creation of the NRA might affect such use." 

Other respondents felt further planning or study was 
needed: "Staff recommends that a Management Plan 
be developed before the NRA goes to Congress in 



order to obtain local support, allow for adequate review 
of the plan by local agencies, and facilitate inclusion of 
objectives and purposes important to the welfare of the 
residents of the County and City." 

2. NRA Designation 

a. Pro NRA 

Eighty-three percent of the respondents who ad- 
dressed the NRA issue supported the NRA designation 
(Table 7-2). The respondents most often stated 
recreation (rafting in particular) as their reason for 
favoring NRA designation. Approximately (5600 or 
70%) of the respondents favored the NRA designation 
without a dam. Of these, 76% stated specifically that 
they did not want an Auburn or multi-purpose dam; and 
24% stated no dry dam nor any type of dam. 

One agency stated it concurred with BLM's conclusion 
that "...an American River NRA is feasible and desir- 
able due to the benefits of providing the coordinated 
management, protection, and national stature implicit 
in NRA designation irrespective of the water or dam 
option selected" and "...commends BLM for a well 

written document " "We believe a flood control-only 

dam, which would cause very infrequent flooding 
behind the dam, would be compatible with an NRA 
having both recreation and resource protection as 
management goals." 

Those supporting the NRA designation but not men- 
tioning a dam alternative, often endorsed a "river- 
based NRA," or a NRA with "free-flowing rivers." "It is 
also clear that if the Auburn Canyon area was flooded 
the value of the NRA would be substantially dimin- 
ished. ...The steep canyons of the North and Middle 
Forks ...are what severely limits the recreation potential 
of any reservoir in the area." 

Three hundred thirty-two (4%) respondents supported 
the proposed NRA with some type of modification. The 
modification most often mentioned (88% of the time) 
was the no-dam alternative. 

Several respondents requested a "no condemnation" 
clause be included in the Congressional designation. 
Other NRA modifications suggested included: (1) 
designate only the North Fork, and (2) designate only 
the North and Middle Forks (Auburn study segment). 

Reasons presented for supporting the NRA included: 
"Recreation and tourism are becoming increasingly 
more valuable for Placer County's economic base. This 
has been shown over and over with people moving 
and/or visiting here for what we presently have: a 



74 



unique river filled with numerous recreational opportu- 
nities, unspoiled natural areas, archaeological sites, 
gold mining, and our own diverse historic cultural 
resources." 

The proposed NRA would make the river "...available 
for a variety of recreation, its access would be in- 
creased for the elderly and handicapped, and for 
families with young children...." 

"...the development of an NRA within the American 
River watershed could provide a unique opportunity to 
dedicate portions of the watershed to both clearly 
defined habitat improvement projects and the contin- 
ued use of those areas by the hunting and fishing 
public." 

"...all segments of the river need to be managed for 
multiple uses including uses by wildlife. The American 
River represents a rare and endangered habitat for 
wildlife and for human use." 

The American River "...could be designated as an NRA 
in its present state. ...the American River watershed 
environment offers diverse experiences and outstand- 
ing natural and cultural resources, attracting national 
as well as regional visitors. Coordinated management 
for such a noteworthy environment could only benefit 
the resource as well as the American public." 

b. Con NRA 

Four percent (368) of the respondents who addressed 
the NRA issue opposed NRA designation for the 
American River. Individuals and organizations cited 
two main reasons for opposing NRA designation: (1) 
loss of local autonomy, and (2) NRA designation may 
impede the multi-purpose dam at Auburn. 

Local residents and local agencies were particularly 
concerned with loss of local control and property rights: 
"...we do not need the federal government to come into 
an area which is already managed as state recreation 
area and tell us what local residents can and cannot do 
with their homes, with their property and with their 
businesses." 

"Federal control and operation of the NRA will just 
impose another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy ..." 
which would "...dilute, or result in the total loss of local 
control." 

"...state and local authorities have a better sensitivity 
for the needs of the region and proven resources to 
fulfill those needs." 



A number of local agencies passed resolutions stating 
"Establishment of the NRA could preclude the future 
construction of a multi-purpose dam..." or words to that 
effect. 

3. Dam Alternatives 

The issue of a dam was a significant concern to the 
majority of the respondents. There were 6700 com- 
ments (44% of the total comments) recorded on the 
dam alternatives. Tables 7-3 and 7-4 tally the opinions 
of the respondents regarding the dams by the form of 
response. 

Three hundred twelve comments were in favor of a 
dam. Most stated a multi-purpose dam is "...the best 
means of achieving the necessary level of flood control 
protection for Sacramento as well as needed water 
supply and hydro-electric energy for the area...." 
A small number (5%) of the dam comments addressed 
a dry dam. The majority of the respondents used this 
category as a qualifier, stating they were opposed to 
any dam, but if one had to be constructed, they 
preferred a dry dam or a flood control dam in lieu of a 
multi-purpose dam. The main reason was to provide 
flood control. 

Approximately 4600 (69%) of the dam comments 
opposed the multi-purpose dam, of which 86% were 
from letter writing campaigns. Approximately 1 750 
(26% of the dam comments) opposed any type of dam. 
Of these comments, 1490 were campaign letters and 
post cards. Many believe a dam is unnecessary and 
unneeded, and many stated a dam would be a safety 
hazard, both for seismic and flooding reasons. 

"Given the huge population growth this area is experi- 
encing, we believe that the value — both tangible and 
existence value — of the unflooded canyons far 
outweigh the limited benefits (relative to the tremen- 
dous capital costs) of any dam alternative which results 
in permanent flooding of the canyons." 

"...Auburn Dam would destroy important wildlife 
habitats and over 48 miles of the North and Middle 
Forks of the American River. ...Auburn Dam and the 
resulting reservoir would substantially fragment 
remaining wildlife habits. Recent studies have shown 
that the accelerating fragmentation and isolation of 
habitats is a substantial contributor in the extinction or 
extirpation of species." 

"The fact that the Auburn Reservoir area of the Ameri- 
can River District has no California Points of Historical 
Interest, nor National Register sites, points more to the 
lack of commitment on the part of Department of Parks 



75 



and Recreation to these preservation programs than to 
the lack of significance of the features and properties. 
The Auburn Reservoir area is rich in historic sites, with 
706 recorded to date." 

"Under both water development scenarios (dry dam 
and multi-purpose) many of the important natural 
features or attributes of the canyons would be lost and 



'replaced or traded' for certain man-made and inten- 
sively managed features or attributes. ...the highly 
complex topographic features and corresponding high 
diversity of natural environments in the Auburn area 
supports the federally and state listed endangered bald 
eagle and 22 other species of various protected and 
administratively recognized categories of concern." 



Note to Readers Regarding Tables 7-1 through 7-4 

The raw data reflected in these tables are meant only to indicate the level of responses and should not be construed 
to represent a "count," or "weight" of public opinion in this area on this issue. Each letter, resolution, post card, or 
testimony is counted as one response. Therefore, a resolution from a county board of supervisors is counted as 
equal to an individual's post card. Because of lack of data, no attempt was made to determine how many people a 
single response may represent. The reader is advised to refer back to the text listing responses and positions for 
information on what these raw numbers represent. 



Table 7-1 : Frequency of Opinions Regarding the NRA and Dam 



Pro NRA 



Con NRA 



Pro NRA with 
Modifications 



No Mention 
of NRA 



Total 



Multi-purpose dam Pro (1) 6 

Con (3613) 4245 



03 




1 


0) 


14 


(2) 


124 


5 


(27) 


160 


(180) 


319 


(3820) 


4729 



Dam (General) 


Pro 


(13) 


20 




5 







(7) 


12 


(20) 


37 




Con 


(1125) 


1306 


(3) 


5 


(10) 


2S 


(324) 


424 


(1462) 


1761 



Dry dam 



Pro 


(13) 


145 


1 


32 


(1) 


6 


(14) 


184 


Con 


(2) 


12 





3 







(2) 


15 



No mention of Dam (1670) 2176 


(7) 


249 


(34) 


110 


(340) 


427 


(2051 ) 


2962 


Total (6437) 7910 


(10) 


368 


(71) 


332 


(853) 


1202 


(7371) 


9812 


NOTE: Numbers in parentheses only include campaign responses. 




















76 



Table 7-2: Frequency of Opinions Regarding NRA Designation 



Form of Response 



For the NRA 



Against the NRA 



For the NRA 

with 
Modifications 



Personal letters, 
reports 

Oral Comments 

Campaign Letters 

- General 

Post card Campaign 

Campaign Letters 

- River Users 

Campaign Letters 

- Oakland Technical 
High School 

Resolutions 



1046 

55 

243 
3334 

2888 
203 



166 
87 

99 

10 



155 

14 

56 

17 

52 



Total 



'(1101)7769 



'(259) 368 



"(140)295 



*Non-campaign responses 

TOP FOUR REASONS FAVORING NRA DESIGNATION 

1. Preserve river-based recreation/free-flowing river 

2. Keep recreation opportunities (other than rafting) 

3. Preserve area for future generations 

4. Preserve natural area/valuable resources 



TOP THREE REASONS AGAINST NRA DESIGNATION 

1 . Adversely affect homeowners' rights 

2. Area is already well managed 

3. Condemnation of property/eminent domain 



77 



Table 7-3: Frequency of Opinions Regarc 



im 



Form of Response 



For the Dam 



Against the Dam 



Personal letters, 
reports 

Oral Comments 

Campaign Letters 
- General 



104 

2 

34 



Post card Campaign 

Campaign Letters 
- River Users 



14 



Total 



154 



13 



TOP THREE REASONS FAVORING THE DRY-DAM 

1 . Provide flood control 

2. Will not damage wilderness area 

3. Will not impede river flow 



TOP TWO REASONS AGAINST THE DRY-DAM 

1 . Would destroy wildlife habitat 

2. Alternative flood control is available 



i "— : ■ " - 


Table 7-4: 


Frequency of Opinions 


Regarding General Dam and Multi-Purpose Dam 


Form of Response 


For the Dam Against the Dam 



Personal letters, 
reports 

Oral Comments 

Campaign Letters 
- General 



63 

37 

35 



885 

31 
158 



Post card Campaign 

Campaign Letters 
- River Users 



22 



3325 
1712 



Campaign Letters 
- Oakland Technical 
High School 

Resolutions 



216 



Total 



*(107) 159 



'(911)6327 



* Non-campaign responses 

TOP FIVE REASONS FOR FAVORING A DAM 

1 . Provide water supply to meet increasing needs 

2. Provide flood control 

3. Create recreation activities 

4. Provide hydro-electric power 

5. Enhance environment 



TOP FIVE REASONS AGAINST A DAM 

1 . Destroy recreational values 

2. Preserve natural beauty 

3. Alternative flood controls are possible 

4. Would damage environment 

5. River would no longer be free-flowing 



"~ r 



78 



References 



Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 16 
U.S.C. 460mm-2 (1980). 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. 
(1989a). [Auburn State Recreation Area: Attendance 
counts]. Unpublished raw data. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. 
(1989b). [Folsom Lake State Recreation Area: 
Attendance counts]. Unpublished raw data. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. 
(1989c). California outdoor recreation plan - 1988. 
Sacramento: State of California, The Resources 
Agency. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. (1988). 
Auburn State Recreation Area and Folsom Lake 
State Recreation Area general plan update. Sacra- 
mento: State of California, The Resources Agency. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. (1987). 
Public opinions and attitudes on outdoor recreation 
in California - 1987. Sacramento: State of California, 
The Resources Agency. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. (1984). 
The recreation and leisure industry's contribution to 
California's economy. Sacramento: State of Califor- 
nia, The Resources Agency. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. (1978). 
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park general 
plan. Sacramento: State of California, The Re- 
sources Agency. 

California Department of Parks and Recreation. (1976). 
California inventory of historic places. Sacramento: 
State of California, The Resources Agency. 

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Act, 16 
U.S.C.460ff(1978). 

Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area Act, 16 
U.S.C. 460kk (1978). 

El Dorado County Planning Department. (1982a, 
November). South Fork of the American River 
environmental report: Vol. 1. River management 
plan. (El Dorado County Planning Department, 
Placerville, CA). 

El Dorado County Planning Department. (1982b, 
November) . South Fork of the American River 
environmental report: Vol. 2. Draft environmental 
assessment report. (El Dorado County Planning 
Department, Placerville CA). 



Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Act, 16 
U.S.C. 460v (1968). 

Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Act, 16 U.S.C. 
460gg(1975). 

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, the Arapaho National 
Recreation Area and the Oregon Islands Wilderness 
Area Act, 16 U.S.C. 460jj (1968). 

Jenrick, M. (n.d.) Historic clippings file, Auburn Project 
area.On file with U.S. Department of the Interior, 
Bureau of Land Management, Folsom Resource 
Area Office, Folsom, California. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Act, 16 U.S.C. 
460n(1964) 

Mandel, S., Wollan, O., Wright, T., Peach, E., Meral, J., 
Simpson, R., Poslosky, D., Kipping, J., Haughey, V., 
Lynch, K., Markley, E., Cassidy, J., Daley-Hutter, M., 
Margolin, M., Robinson, R., Drake, B., Patrick, S., 
Krage, D., Leder-Adams, M., Center, B., Cooley, B., 
Davis, M., Gerstung, E., Jenrick, M., Joyce, M., 
Mulder, J., Peterson, H. O, Powers, S., Reeves, S., 
& Watson, C. (Eds.). (1989). The American River: 
North, Middle and South Forks. Auburn, CA: Protect 
American River Canyons. 

McCarthy, H. (1989). Review of the cultural resource 
inventory for the Auburn Dam alternatives: Draft 
report. (Contract No. DACW05-89-P-1309). Sacra- 
mento: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento 
District. 

Mitchel, L. (1988, August). Discussion paper: National 
recreation area study for Mono County. (Available 
from Mono County Planning Department, Bridge- 
port, California). 

Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Act, 16 U.S.C. 
460r(1966). 

Nebraska Wilderness Act of 1985, 16 U.S.C. 460rr 
(1985). 

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Act, 16 
U.S.C. 460z (1972). 

Pennsylvania Wilderness Act of 1984, 16 U.S.C. 460qq 
(1984). 

Planning and Conservation League Foundation. 
(1984). Protecting our Heritage; A Proposal for an 
Upper American River National Recreation Area. 
Sacramento, California. 

Recreation Advisory Council. (1963). Federal executive 
branch policy governing the selection, establish- 
ment, and administration of national recreation 
areas. (Policy Circular No. 1). Washington, DC: U.S. 
Government Printing Office. 



79 



Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. (1985). 
American River Parkway plan. (Resolution No. 85- 
1870, Dec. 1 1 , 1985). Sacramento: Author. 

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Act, 
16U.S.C. 460kk(1978). 

Sawtooth National Recreation Area Act, 16 U.S. C. 
460gg (1975). 

Siehl, G. H. (1988). CRS Report for Congress: National 
recreation areas. (Report No. 88-644 ENR). Wash- 
ington, DC: Library of Congress, Congressional 
Research Service, Environmental and Natural 
Resources Policy Division. 

Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area 
Act, 16U.S.C.460p(1965). 

Storer, T. I., & Usinger, R. L. (1963). Sierra Nevada 
natural history: An illustrated handbook. Berkeley: 
University of California Press. 

True, D. L. (n.d.). Cultural resource inventory for the 
Auburn Dam project. Manuscript on file with U.S. 
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, 
Region 2 Office, Sacramento. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. (1986). 
Tahoe National Forest land and resource manage- 
ment plan draft. Nevada City, California: U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Tahoe National Forest. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service & U.S. 
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Manage- 
ment. (1979). The North Fork American Wild and 
Scenic River management and development plan - 
boundary description. Nevada City, California: U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Tahoe National Forest. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. (1978). 
North Fork American River Wild and Scenic River 
report. Nevada City, California: U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Tahoe National Forest. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (1989). American River 
Watershed, California: Information paper on alterna- 
tives. Sacramento: Department of the Army, Sacra- 
mento District, Corps of Engineers. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclama- 
tion. (1972). Final environmental statement: Auburn- 
Folsom South Unit, Central Valley Project, Califor- 
nia. U.S. Department of the Interior Report No. INT 
FES 72-40. Sacramento: U.S. Department of the 
Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Regional Office, 
Region 2. 



U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife 
Service (1990, June). American River Watershed 
Investigation, Vol. II: Auburn area substantiating 
report. Sacramento: Fish and Wildlife Service. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 
(1988). Management Policies. Washington, DC: 
U.S. Government Printing Office. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service; 
National Conference of State Historic Preservation 
Officers; American Association for State and Local 
History (1989). National register of historic places, 
1966-1988. Nashville, TN: American Association for 
State and Local History. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 
(1983). 1982 Nationwide rivers inventory. [Summary 
for California rivers]. San Francisco: U.S. Depart- 
ment of the Interior, National Park Service, Western 
Regional Office. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 
(1978). Management Policies. Washington, DC: 
U.S. Government Printing Office. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 
(1963). Project report on the recreation resources of 
the Auburn-Folsom South Unit. (Auburn, County 
Line and Sugar Pine Reservoirs and Folsom South 
Canal): Auburn River Division, Central Valley 
Project, California. San Francisco: National Park 
Service, Western Region. 

Vermont Wilderness Act of 1984, 16 U.S.C. 460nn 
(1984). 

Walsh, R. G., Sanders, L D. & Loomis, J. B. (1985). 
Wild and scenic river economics: Recreation use 
and preservation values. Englewood, Colorado: 
American Wilderness Alliance. 

Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984, 16 U.S.C. 
460pp (1984). 

Watson, C. (1985). A proposed Whitewater recreation 
management plan for the North and Middle Forks of 
the American River. Sacramento: Chuck Watson 
Environmental Consulting. 

West Virginia National Interest River Conservation Act 
Of 1987, 16 U.S.C. 460ww (1987). 

Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area 
Act, 16 U.S.C. 460q (1965). 



80 



Appendix A 



This appendix highlights excerpts from the more 
detailed public comments received regarding the NRA 
feasibility study draft. These comments are listed in 
random order, preceded by a five-digit code that 
identifies the response for tracking purposes. Such 
comments were received from the following: 

Elected Officials Page 

Congressmen Vic Fazio and Robert Matsui 82 

Congressman Wally Herger 82 

Congressman Norm Shumway 82 

State Senator John Doolittle 83 

Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg 83 

Assemblyman Tim Leslie 83 

Assemblyman Norman Waters 83 

Federal Agencies 

Bureau of Mines 85 

Bureau of Reclamation (1) 85 

Bureau of Reclamation (2) 86 

Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army 86 

Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 85 

Fish and Wildlife Service 84 

National Park Service, Western Region (2) 85 

National Park Service, Western Region (1) 85 



State Agencies 

California Energy Commission 87 

Department of Boating and Waterways 86 

Department of Fish and Game 87 

Department of Parks and Recreation (2) 87 

Department of Parks and Recreation (Kranz) 88 

Department of Parks and Recreation (1) 86 

Department of Transportation 86 

Department of Water Resources 87 

Fish and Game Commission 86 

Resources Agency of California 88 

State Lands Commission 86 

Local Agencies 

American River Authority 92 

American River Flood Control District (1) 89 

American River Flood Control District (2) 90 

American River Flood Control District (3) 91 

Auburn City Council 90 

California Flood Control Association/ 

American River Authority 92 

El Dorado County Water Agency (Chappie) 89 

El Dorado County Board of Supervisors 90 

Folsom, City of 89 

Granite Bay Municipal Advisory Council 89 

Northside Fire Protection District 89 



81 



Placer County Board of Supervisors 91 

Rancho Murieta Community Services District 90 

Reclamation District 1000 93 

Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency 92 

Sacramento, City Council 93 

Sacramento, City of Flood Control and 

Sewers Division 90 

Sacramento, City of Water Division 90 

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors 93 

Sacramento County Department of Parks and 

Recreation (1) 89 

Sacramento County Department of Parks and 

Recreation (2) 90 

Sacramento County Water Resources Division 90 

San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors 92 

Sutter County Board of Supervisors 93 

Utilities/Water District 

Citrus Heights Irrigation District 94 

Fair Oaks Water District 94 

Georgetown Divide Public Utility District 93 

Orangevale Mutual Water Company 95 

Pacific Gas and Electric 93 

Placer County Water Agency 93 

Sacramento Area Water Authority 93 

San Juan Suburban Water District 94 

Business/Organizations 

American River Coalition (1) 95 

American River Coalition (2) 101 

Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce 97 

Auburn Dam Council (Mehrten) 96 

Auburn Dam Council 97 

Audubon Society, Sacramento 100 

Building Industry Association of 

Superior California 97 

California Cattlemen's Association 100 

California Chamber of Commerce 96 

California Native Plant Society 100 

California State Grange 99 

Construction and General Laborers Local #185 100 

Cool-Pilot Hill Advisory Committee 100 

Defenders of Wildlife (1) 96 

Defenders of Wildlife (2) 100 

El Dorado Chamber of Commerce 98 

El Dorado Association of Realtors 99 

Environmental Defense Fund 95 

Fairbank, Bregman and Maullin 99 

Folsom Lake Marina 95 

Friends of the River 99 

Greater Auburn Property Owners Association 98 

Gualco, Michael (Palisades Development, Inc.) 99 

Labor and Business Alliance of Capitol Area (1) 98 

Labor and Business Alliance of Capitol Area (2) 99 

Mother Lode Gold Hound Association 95 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 96 

82 



Planning and Conservation League 96 

Protect the American River Canyons 99 

Sacramento Bee 96 

Sierra Club, Mother Lode Chapter 98 

Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter 100 

Small Business Management 100 

Western River Guides 100 

Wildwater Designs 100 

Wilderness Interpretation (Wright) 99 

Wilderness Society 97 

Individuals - Affiliated With Organization 101 

Individuals - No Stated Affiliation 102 

Federal Elected Official 

09000 Jack Sieglock, representing Congressman 
Shumway. read a statement from Congressman 
Shumway at the Sacramento public hearing. 

- "...I would oppose any NRA proposal which in any 
way conflicts with, or delays, completion of the multi- 
purpose project. My first priority was, and remains, 
providing for our future flood control, water and power 
needs through such a project." 

- "...I am pleased that the first chapter does conclude 
that an NRA is feasible for any of the flood control or 
water genration options. However, it also contains 
sections examining the NRA in association with the 
options which do not 'assume potential floodability,' 
and are therefore inconsistent with congressional 
directive." 

- "...there is not recognition in the report about the loss 
of recreation at Folsom Lake and the American River 
Parkway if a multi-purpose Auburn Dam is not com- 
pleted." 

09215 Congressman Wally Herger, 2nd District "I 

fully support the completion of a multi-purpose Auburn 
Dam that would provide a wide range of benefits to the 
people of northern California, including flood control, 
water supply, recreation and cleanly generated power." 

- "I am opposed to the establishment of a NRA, and 
believe that a great number of the affected people of 
northern California share this view, until the issues of 
flood control and water supply are fully addressed." 

00645 Congressmen Vic Fazio and Robert Matsui, 
U.S. House of Representatives: "...believe an 
American River National Recreation Area could be a 
good thing for Northern California, both economically 

and environmentally However, ...we will forego the 

potential benefits of an NRA if it becomes an impedi- 
ment to flood control." 



- "...under no circumstances will we support or allow 
Congress to pass an NRA authorization bill that does 
not provide for inundation of the Auburn Canyon as an 
automatic consequence of a decision by Congress to 
expand a flood control dam for water and power 
purposes." 

State Elected Officials 

00608 Senator John T. Doolittle, District 1, State of 
California: feels "...the American River Canyon fails to 
meet the criteria ...for the creation of a National Recre- 
ation Area." 

- Senator Doolittle states that the majority of individu- 
als, organizations and association who are against the 
NRA feel that "...we do not need the federal govern- 
ment to come into an area which is already managed 
as state recreation area and tell us what local residents 
can and cannot do with their homes, with their property 
and with their businesses." 

- Senator Doolittle also mentions that none of the 32 
outstanding and cultural features identified on Auburn 
Project Lands has ever been recorded by the California 
Office of Historic Preservation, the California Register 
of Landmarks, the California Points of Historic Places, 
nor the National Register of Historic Places. 

- He feels "...the State of California is already maximiz- 
ing the recreational benefits of these lands under the 
Interim Use Management Plan of the Bureau of 
Reclamation. ...Enhancing recreation in the Auburn 
State Recreation Area would be virtually impossible 
logistically and hazardous at best." 

- He also mentions a comment made by the Depart- 
ment of Parks and Recreation that "...the notion used 
in your study (BLM's) that national stature is implicit 
with an NRA designation is completely unfounded." 
Also, BLM's study "...cites places of national historic 
significance outside of the area it recommends for 
inclusion in a NRA as reasons to justify a recreation 
area." 

- Senator Doolittle would like the question of safety with 
enhanced recreation activity addressed in the final 
feasibility study. 

00649 California Assemblyman Norman S. Waters, 
7th District: opposes the NRA because it "...would 

hamstring and even prevent the construction and 
operation of a multipurpose Auburn Dam..." 

- Mr. Waters believes "...the BLM feasibility report an 
unclear document that does not adequately support its 
finding and recommendations, and that "...much of the 



land proposed for inclusion in an NRA currently is well 
managed by the State of California and other entities, 
and that an NRA would only mean a new layer of 
bureaucracy and less local control." 

- He also has "...concerns about an NRA's effects on 
private properties near or within a federal recreation 
area" and he believes "...it might prevent construction 
of badly-needed water storage and conveyance 
facilities in El Dorado county." 

00629 California Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg, 
10th District: believes facts and figures on relative 
recreational use 'were withheld which make it difficult 
for a decision maker to use the study to reach a 
conclusion on the nature of the NRA." 

- 'Your study reports that 500,000 people per year use 
the Auburn project area land, despite its almost 
complete lack of facilities. You note that construction of 
a reservoir would damage or destroy Whitewater 
recreation, goldpanning, sunning and swimming, 
equestrian recreation, picnicking, hiking and backpack- 
ing, fishing, camping and nature study and apprecia- 
tion. I take that to mean that most of the recreation 
opportunities that currently bring 500,000 people to the 
area would be lost." 

- 'Then you note that shoreline recreation at Auburn 
Reservoir would be minimal because of water level 
fluctuations up to 300 feet and steep shoreline topogra- 
phy." 

- "if most of the recreation at an Auburn Reservoir 
would be flatwater boating, how many people per year 
would use the facilities? If most of the current recre- 
ation values of the Auburn Project Area land would be 
lost, how many of the current 500,000 recreation users 
would return annually?" 

- "I believe these calculations need to be made so that 
the relative merits of a river-based NRA versus a 
reservoir-based NRA can be judged." 

- 'The rest of the reservoir-based recreation projections 
are based on the California Department of Parks and 
Recreation carrying out its general plan for the area. 
...The Department of Parks and Recreation is 
underfunded and understaffed. It has failed to provide 
even minimal road, trail and sanitary improvements in 
the Auburn project lands that it administers for the 
Bureau of Reclamation." 

09047 Assemblyman Tim Leslie, Districts: "...re- 
port completely fails to acknowledge the devastating 
negative impacts on areas downstream from the 
Auburn Dam if it is not built!" 



83 



- Table 3-2 "...does not indicate how many or what kind 
of recreational opportunities would be available if the 
multipupose Auburn Dam were built." 

- "No where does the report mention that unless the 
multipurpose Auburn Dam is built there will be substan- 
tial negative impacts on the recreational opportunities 
downstream from the Auburn Dam." 

- 'The report cites the millions of people who enjoy 
Folsom Lake State Park and the American River 
Parkway, but fails to address the reduction in atten- 
dance and revenue because there is no Auburn 
Reservoir to stabilize water levels for both Folsom 
Lake and the American River." 

- "It doesn't mention the present and future restrictions 
on Folsom Lake, how many fewer visitors there are to 
the lake and the dramatic negative impact the low 
water level has had on fisheries." 

- "All of the negative environmental impacts to the area 
above the Auburn Dam site are mentioned. But the 
report fails to mention the positive impacts of broader- 
based recreational opportunities above the Auburn 
Dam if it is built, and it fails to mention the negative 
impacts to Recreation Areas below the dam site if the 
dam is not built." 

Federal Agency 

00607 U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife 
Service: sent BLM a summary report extracted from 
FWS's American River Watershed Investigation draft 
report. 

- "At present the canyons and adjoining areas of the 
North Fork American river provide expansive and 
highly significant habitats, corridors and other features 
essential to the fish and wildlife populations in the 
region." The Fish and Wildlife Service also notes that 
"...large segments of natural free flowing rivers of this 
size are fast disappearing throughout the United States 
(Stanford and Ward, 1979). In California, only a 
handful of rivers remain in a natural or relatively natural 
free flowing state. In our view, this situation places the 
North Fork American River in a category of high 
statewide and national significance." 

- "In addition, the attendant diverse and specialized 
aquatic biota and adjoining terrestrial communities are 
most likely to retain their greatest diversity and com- 
plexity of energy flow patterns only in association with 
an unconstrained lotic system (Hagen and Roberts, 
1973; Stanford and Hauer, 1978). Conditions at the 
land/water interface appear to be most beneficial and 
terrestrial wildlife species along unregulated streams 



(Gill 1973; Stanford and Ward 1979, Dolan et al. 1973, 
1977). In stark contrast to a highly fluctuating reser- 
voir, free flowing rivers, such as segments of the North 
Fork American, support a greater diversity of closely 
adjoining vegetation and other habitat features, thus 
provide critically important protected access to the 
water and canyon bottoms to a broader variety of 
wildlife. Under natural stream conditions, river channel 
and canyon bottoms provide significantly greater 
access to water, higher value as movement and 
migration corridors, feeding sites, and escape cover as 
compared to a fluctuating reservoir." 

- "In the absence of a more inclusive regional designa- 
tion for the area, such as that provided under an NRA 
designation, continued homesite and other urban 
developments will further fragment and degrade the 
many natural values in the canyon." 

- "It is very clear from our studies that both water 
development scenarios (multipurpose and dry 

dam). ..would irreversibly degrade or, in the case of the 
multipurpose dam, completely eliminate the extensive 
and significant fish and wildlife habitats and popula- 
tions in the canyons and along the river." 

- "...periodic inundation would irreversibly degrade the 
stream-land interface" such that "Formerly productive 
and important fish and wildlife habitats would be 
substantially reduced in ecological and recreational 
value." 

- Regarding BLM's draft study, "the report does not 
address whether the canyon presently qualifies for 
NRA designation nor does it fully consider, or provide 
an adequate indication of the environmental impacts 
that are likely to occur with the two water development 
scenarios." 

- "Under both water development scenarios many of 
the important natural features or attributes of the 
canyons would be lost and 'replaced or traded' for 
certain man-made and intensively managed features or 
attributes." "It seems that the NRA determination 
makes little distinction between natural recreational 
values of the American River canyons (many of which 
are irreplaceable) verses those that are man-made 
(e.g., recreation features associated with a reservoir or 
other man-made facilities reproducible elsewhere)." 

- "...the highly complex topographic features and 
corresponding high diversity of natural environments in 
the Auburn area supports the federally and state listed 
endangered bald eagle, the federally listed threatened 
valley elderberry longhorn beetle, and high potential for 
about 21 other species of various protected and 
administratively recognized categories of concern." 



84 



- "Without some type of broad regional designation, 
such as an NRA, we expect the natural environmental 
amenities, including the fish and wildlife resources of 
the area, will continue to deteriorate significantly as a 
result of increases of local human populations, escalat- 
ing fragmentation of habitats, and inadequately man- 
aged recreational activities with or without a flood 
control facility. With a flood control dam or multipur- 
pose dam, we believe that some type of broad protec- 
tive regional designation would be needed to insure 
adequate mitigation from project impacts and to buffer 
any mitigation areas from anticipated future urban 
developments, recreational activities and human 
populations." 

00620 U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Mines: 

'To prevent misconceptions by the readers and users 
of this feasibility report (BLM's Draft Study), we recom- 
mend that the summaries and introduction clearly state 
the study should be used for proposal purposes only 
and that any considerations beyond proposals should 
be forestalled until a comprehensive EA or EIS is 
completed as required by NEPA regulations. Such a 
statement would alleviate further concerns of ours with 
the feasibility study." 

00644 United States Environmental Protection 
Agency, Region 9, San Francisco, CA: concurs with 
BLM's conclusion that "...an American River NRA is 
feasible and desirable due to the benefits of providing 
the Coordinated management, protection, and national 
stature implicit in NRA designation irrespective of the 
water or dam option selected" and "...commends BLM 
for a well written document." 

- "It is unclear from your (BLM's) study whether a NRA 
which may be converted to a permanent reservoir is a 
sound Federal investment as a national recreation 
resource from the standpoint of resource protection. 
We believe a flood control-only dam, which would 
cause very infrequent flooding behind the dam, would 
be compatible with a NRA having both recreation and 
resource protection as management goals." 

00552 National Park Service, Western Region: 

commends BLM staff for the "open and participatory 
approach in which this study was conducted. The 
criteria used in making this determination were those 
developed by the National Park Service in 1978.. .thus 
this study is consistent with those used by other federal 
agencies" 

- "We are confident that the feasibility study prepared 
by BLM demonstrates that the American River water- 
shed meets the criteria and is suitable for NRA desig- 
nation, even considering all the dam alternatives. It 
could be designated as an NRA in its present state." 



- "We also agree that it is also desirable to designate 
this nationally significant resource area as an 
NRA.. .the American River watershed environment 
offers diverse experiences and outstanding natural and 
cultural resources, attracting national as well as 
regional visitors." 

- "coordinated management for such a noteworthy 
environment could only benefit the resource as well as 
the American public." 

08395 National Park Service, Western Region: 

sent BLM a copy of NPS's reply to a letter sent by the 
Greater Auburn Property Owners Association. 

- 'The South Fork of the American River portion would 
not involve any acquisition or taking of privately owned 
land. There are adequate public lands to handle public 
access and administrative needs." 

- "NRA can be multi-jurisdictiona!, e.g. Golden Gate 
NRA is a blending of federal, state, and local land and 
public land ownerships. State and county operations 
are generally continued under the umbrella manage- 
ment of an NRA." 

00616 U.S. Dept of the Interior, Bureau of Reclama- 
tion: "... does not agree with BLM's Study Team 
proposal that the Study Area meets the criteria for an 
establishment of a NRA." 

- "Presently there are capable and willing agencies 
managing each of the five segments of the Study 
Area." 'The report failed to provide the reader the 
benefits of what a NRA designation could provide the 
American people over and above what the existing 
managing agencies and their commitments now 
provide." 

- Their primary concern is the draft's "lack of sufficient 
data and information on the multi-purpose Auburn Dam 
project.. .there needs to be an expanded discussion of 
the existing commitment for, and future enhancement 
of, recreation accomplishments in the Auburn Reser- 
voir takeline for the multi-purpose facility as considered 
in the General Plan for the Auburn State Recreation 
Area and the Folsom Lake SRA." 

- 'The procedure used to label the archaeological, 
cultural and natural resources as 'nationally significant' 
or 'outstanding' has not been explained or substanti- 
ated." 

- 'The designation of the study area as a NRA will not 
provide additional recreation opportunities to assure 
more national as well as regional visitation." 



85 



- BLM's draft lacks sufficient data and information on 
the multi-purpose Auburn Dam project. "It needs to 
state what the multi-purpose project accomplishments 
will be for recreation, flood control, watersupply, power, 
instream flows, and fish and wildlife aspects." 

00604 U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Recla- 
mation: forwarded some private and form letters to 
BLM regarding the study. 

- James and Carol Gillespie from Cool, CA are in favor 
of a multi-purpose dam because "Sacramento needs 
the water and flood control, and we all need the 
hydroelectric power it would generate. ...Folsom Lake 
recreation area would be improved a hundred fold, and 
it would be stable the year around." They are against 
the NRA in the North Fork of the American River 
because it would halt prospects of a multi-purpose 
dam. 

- Gene and Connie Bryant from Cool, CA oppose the 
NRA "...not only because of the fiscal impacts but 
additionally due the regulatory monolith that will be 
created if it is adopted. ...There is no benefit to the 
taxpayer." BLM's study "...is entirely unclear as to the 
ultimate responsibility of the proposed NRA not to 
mention it's interface with the Auburn Dam Project." 

- Robert and Beverly Rassman from Cool, CA feel "We 
need proper flood control, energy sources and facilities 
which offer large water storage supplies." 

06839 Sacramento District Corps of Engineers, 
Department of the Army: "Any designation of a NRA 
should not interfere with the State's ability to maintain 
existing flood control projects, including levees and 
channels in the Sacramento area." 

- "Suggest you indicate what kinds of impacts are likely 
to occur to existing cultural resources." 

State Agency 

***** state Lands Commission, Sacramento CA: 

BLM's draft study "...fails to recognize the State Lands 
Commission as a 'land owner' in the American River 
Parkway segment." "...the State holds fee title to the 
bed of the Lower American River from its confluence 
with the Sacramento River to Nimbus Dam." 

- 'The report should also note that the river was 
assigned use category 'A' in the Commission's signifi- 
cant lands inventory based on its valuable habitat, 
scenic quality and recreational amenities. Use category 
'A' is a restricted use which would minimize public use 
of the area to preserve the integrity of the natural 
environment. 



- The Commission included two letters which explain 
their "...desire to protect both habitat values and 
recreational opportunities in this area..." 

- 'The staff of the State Lands Commission would be 
concerned with the creation of a National Recreation 
Area if its creation were to mean a commitment to 
promote recreation on the River at the expense of its 
significant habitat values. As we understand the 
document, however, the retention of existing authori- 
ties within the NRA would allow the Commission to 
retain its ability to exercise its judgement about the 
proper balance of these uses." 

***** state of California Department of Transporta- 
tion in Marysville: "As part of any future dam con- 
struction, Route 49 will need to be relocated between 
Auburn and Cool. If this area is designated a National 
Recreation Area, Caltrans is concerned about possible 
conflicts between roadway and recreational uses... 
The Plan should consider the need for a future road- 
way corridor if a dam is constructed." 

***** state of California Department of Boating and 
Waterways: "In general, the study does not ad- 
equately analyze the impact on recreational boating 
resources and the various specific boating opportuni- 
ties which will be altered by an NRA classification." 

- 'The study does not describe the type and magnitude 
of controls which would be instituted or the number of 
land owners or acres impacted." 

- "Chapter 3... is inadequate in the analysis of recre- 
ation boating benefits for each dam alternative." 

- 'The study alternatives should address the benefits of 
a stabilized Folsom Lake water drawdown, analyze the 
recreation benefits of a stabilized lake, and discuss 
under what water scenarios stabilization is possible." 

- "As we read the report, we are unsure whether the 
primary focus of the proposed NRA would be recre- 
ation or preservation of natural and cultural resources." 

08560 GeneAndal, Director of Sacramento Co. 
Department of Parks and Recreation: suggests that 
the Folsom South Canal should be incorporated into 
the study. "Its inclusion can be justified by the fact that 
it is currently operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, 
its source is American River Water, and it affords 
significant recreational opportunities, e.g. trails and 
fishing." 

08437 Fish and Game Commission, President 
Robert A. Bryant: The Commission and the Depart- 
ment state that they believe "the development of an 



es 



NRA within the American River watershed could 
provide a unique opportunity to dedicate portions of the 
watershed to both clearly defined habitat improvement 
projects and the continued use of those areas by the 
hunting and fishing public. Recreation and ecosystem 
maintenance may be defined uses of an NRA and we 
suggest that they be incorporated and emphasized in 
both future legislation and management objectives for 
the North Fork River segment, the Auburn Project 
segment and the South fork segment. 

***** California Energy Commission in Sacra- 
mento: "...would support the concept of Congressional 
designation of an American River NRA, particularly as 
part of a management plan which ensures protection of 
the area's resources and includes provisions for quality 
recreation." 

- 'The eventual designation of the study area as a NRA 
could affect the hydroelectric power generating poten- 
tial of the American River system. In the future, as 
study and planning occur, we would like to encourage 
that production of this relatively clean source of elec- 
tricity be maximized where possible, when it is bal- 
anced with priorities established by management of the 
area's water resources for the greatest public benefit." 

00625 State of California Department of Fish and 
Game: "We believe that the development of an NRA 
within the American River watershed could provide a 
unique opportunity to dedicate portions of the water- 
shed to both clearly defined habitat improvement 
projects and the continued use of those areas by the 
hunting and fishing public. 

- 'The DFG is the State designated Trustee Agency for 
fish and wildlife resources. We would oppose any 
federal designation which would transfer or restrict our 
authority and responsibilities." 

- Regarding BLM's study, "It would be more useful if 
recreational user days were allocated to specific 
recreational features rather than just presenting the 
total." 

- "We believe the effects of occasional inundation to be 
significant. A complete shift of vegetative make-up 
would occur. We would expect an over-all reduction of 
wildlife carrying capacity due to frequent changes in 
wet-dry periods." 

- "In general we believe it is appropriate to conduct a 
comprehensive survey of the fish, wildlife and habitat of 
the study area prior to completion of any decision 
document for the proposed National Recreation Area 
Designation." 



***** state of California Department of Water 
Resources: "The discussion of potential benefits of the 
Auburn Dam alternatives remains inadequate." 

- 'The potential impacts of a NRA designation upon 
downstream flood control, water supply, recreation at 
Folsom Reservoir, and streamflow enhancement 
appear to have been ignored. ...Without such informa- 
tion, the potential compatibility of a NRA designation 
with the various projects proposed at the Auburn site 
cannot be determined." 

- 'The Department of Water Resources believes a 
flood control dam is essential to provide adequate flood 
protection for the Sacramento area and that provisions 
should be made for the possibility of expanding it into a 
multipurpose facility in the future." 

***** Department of Parks and Recreation, Califor- 
nia: is "...opposed to National Recreation Area desig- 
nation for either Auburn SRA (Auburn Project Seg- 
ment) or the Folsom Lake SRA segment. We are also 
opposed to relinquishment of Marshall Gold Discovery 
State Historic Park from the California State Park 
System." 

- 'This Study should discuss the national significance 
of the recommended study area only." 

- "Coordinated management of these two units (Auburn 
SRA and Folsom SRA) provides additional mainte- 
nance, law enforcement, and supervision when 
needed. These benefits would be lost if these two 
units were under separate management. Additional, 
the notion that National stature is implicit with a NRA 
designation is unfounded. National stature is based on 
the resource, not designation." 

- 'The Draft does not sufficiently recognize that most of 
the area recommended for designation (Auburn Project 
Area Segment) is protected by the California Depart- 
ment of Parks and Recreation and has been since 
1977." 

- "Only those areas recommended for inclusion in the 
NRA should be used to justify it's designation." 

- 'There are 32 outstanding natural and cultural 
features identified on the Auburn Project lands alone, 
yet none of these features have ever been recorded by 
the California Office of Historic Preservation. ...If these 
32 sites are genuinely "Outstanding Features" and 
worthy of National Significance, some of them would 
have been nominated by now." 

- "In the proposed NRA, the following recreational 
opportunities are listed as significant: (1) canoeing, 



37 



powerboating, sailing and water-skiing on Lake 
Clementine; (2) rafting, kayaking, and gold panning on 
the three forks of the American River; (3) camping, 
fishing, horseback riding, swimming, nature study and 
Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Auburn SRA. Except for 
Whitewater rafting, these recreational opportunities are 
not of national significance." 

- "Most of the project area (Auburn SRA) is inacces- 
sible and many existing roads are constructed of gravel 
or dirt. ..Since most of these roads are inside the 
inundation zone, it would be difficult to justify the large 
capital investment necessary to accommodate heavy 
visitor use." 

- "Concerning the Whitewater rafting on the North and 
Middle forks of the American River, this resource is 
already overused. This is reflected in our existing 
Whitewater Management Plan, which requires specific 
carrying capacities for each fork of the river. The South 
Fork, which is managed by El Dorado County, has had 
to reduce Whitewater rafting recreatbn the last several 
years." 

- "We agree that this area meets the needs of the 
urban population." 

- "Concerning the Auburn Project Area; the study 
should recognize that the 'National Draw' comes 
primarily from two special Events and the Whitewater 
opportunities on the middle and north forks. These 
activities are already being provided for under the 
existing State Recreation Area designation." 

- 'The Draft should delete any reference to OHV use at 
Folsom Lake SRA. Off Highway Vehicle Use is strictly 
prohibited." 

- The Department of Parks and Recreation is "...op- 
posed to designating Auburn State Recreation Area 
(Auburn Project Area Segment), Folsom Lake State 
Recreation Area, or Marshall Gold Discovery State 
Historic Park as a part of the American River National 
Recreation Area. We believe that the study does not 
support its findings and recommendations; the desir- 
ability is not clearly stated and the criteria are excep- 
tionally vague." 

00625 The Resources Agency of California, In 
Sacramento: is "...opposed to any part of the Ameri- 
can River Watershed being designated as a National 
Recreation Area." 

- 'The Agency finds the draft study internally inconsis- 
tent, self-contradictory and not in compliance with the 
Congressional directive that authorized the study. The 
draft does not support its conclusions that a NRA 



designation is feasible, desirable, or that there is a 
need for additional federal presence in the area." 

- 'There is not explanation of the criteria used to 
determine what constitutes an outstanding, unique, or 
significant feature." 

- "Many of the cultural and historic resources cited in 
the study as a justification for federal designation no 
longer exist. They have been destroyed by fires 
floods, and/or human intrusion." 

- 'The Congressional directive clearly states that the 
area below Salmon Falls Bridge is outside the purview 
of the feasibility study. The draft is in conflict with the 
directive in that it utilizes the recreation values, visitor 
day usage, and the cultural and natural amenities of 
the Folsom Lake/Nimbus Dam area and the American 
River Parkway as "outstanding", "unique", and "signifi- 
cant" attributes to determine that an American River 
National Recreation Area is possible, reasonable, and 
desirable." 

- 'The three forks of the upper American River are 
remote, located within steep canyons, and have 
marginal public access. Most of the recreational 
opportunities of the upper American River are of limited 
interest (e.g., gold panning) or available only to the 
most adventurous and physically fit (e.g., Tevis Cup, 
Western States Endurance Run, and Whitewater 
rafting). While not devaluing the importance of these 
opportunities, the criteria for heavy use to meet the 
needs of urban populations is not met by these self- 
limiting activities." 

- 'The inference that a federal designation will some- 
how alter existing recreation patterns in areas that are 
largely inaccessible to the general public, or that a 
federal presence will increase or enhance the visita- 
tions to the state park and Highway 49 is not support- 
able." 

- 'The entire American River watershed is well man- 
aged by federal, state, local, and regional entities with 
significant financial and personnel resources commit- 
ted to ensure continued enjoyment and preservation of 
this important regional resource. There is nothing to be 
gained by adding an additional layer of bureaucracy." 

09055 Bruce L. Kranz, Superintendent, American 
River District, California Department of Parks and 
Recreation: are "...opposed to the inclusion of any 
State Park System lands in the proposed NRA." 

- "In our view, the proposed ARNRA does not conform 
to the seven primary criteria that are mandatory for all 
proposals." 



88 



- 'We don't believe that the study supports its findings 
and recommendations; the desirability is not clearly 
stated and the criteria are exceptionally vague." 

Local Agency 

00673 City of Folsom, CA: supports the multi- 
purpose Dam and believes NRA designation "...will 
delay the project;" and is being used to "...circumvent 
the construction..." of the Dam. 



08398 American River Flood Control District and 
the California Central Valley Flood Control Asso- 
ciation: oppose the NRA because "...Any additional 
level of governmental administration ...will further 
complicate the ability of the. ..prime function of 
...safety." 

- They "...have an interest in developing new facilities 
such as Auburn Dam to help regulate devastating flood 
flows." 



- Therefore the city council of Folsom "...disagree and 
oppose the American River National Recreation Area 
Feasibility Study in its present form." 

00670 Northside Fire Protection District from Cool, 

CA: The Board of Directors opposes the NRA and 
supports the multi-purpose dam. 

- "...the major impact on Public Safety Agency's within 
the proposed NRA have not been addressed." 

08398 County of Sacramento, Department of Parks 
and Recreation: had some questions regarding the 
Draft Study: 

• '"What additional protection, if any, would be 
accorded the American River Parkway if it were 
included in a NRA?" 

• "Would inclusion of the American River Parkway 
in an NRA involve a federal commitment to any 
particular instream flow regime?" 

• "Would Sacramento County continue to be the 
autonomous managing agency of the American 
River Parkway if the Parkway were part of an 
NRA?" 

• "Who would be the federal oversight authority?" 

• "Would inclusion of the Parkway in an NRA 
guarantee acquisition of private inholdings...?" 

• '"Is there any reason to think that inclusion of the 
American River Parkway.. .would include a 
commitment of Congressional funding to Sacra- 
mento County...?" 

■ '"How is 'optimum public benefit' defined?" 

• "What is the affect of the creation of a NRA on 
the existing State Parks management contract for 
Folsom Lake?" 

• "What is the affect of a NRA on distribution and 
sale of water rights from Folsom Lake?" 



- ...the draft study does not demonstrate that already 
well-managed recreation areas would be better 
managed as an NRA, or that additional federal dollars 
would be available..." 

- "...they are most emphatically opposed to any lessen- 
ing in the flood protection provided by Folsom." 

00557 El Dorado County Water Agency: Board of 
Directors passed a resolution opposing the NRA 
because 

- "is responsible for assuring that an adequate water 
supply is available for any present or future beneficial 
use or uses of the lands and inhabitants within El 
Dorado County." 

- "determined to plan, finance, and construct water 
supply projects on the South Fork American River" 

- "the designation of a National Recreation Area which 
includes the South Fork American River may seriously 
hamper or even preclude the future development of 
much-needed water supplies and hydroelectric power 
generation for the benefit of the lands and in habi- 
tants..." 

_ "state and local agencies have assured that ample 
recreational opportunities are available within the study 
area, and further, have assured that historic and 
cultural resources are adequately preserved and 
protected for the benefit of local and state residents, 
and for the benefit of the nation as a whole..." 

- "Study fails to substantiate the need for a National 
Recreation Area designation, and, further, guarantees 
neither the improvement of recreational opportunities 
nor greater resource protection..." 

00656 County of Placer, Granite Bay Municipal 
Advisory Council: believes "...the State of California 
Department of Parks and Recreation is already ad- 
equately managing the Folsom Lake recreational area" 
and questions whether federal management would 
improve the recreational aspects of the facilities. 



39 



- 'The study needs to adequately address how and 
what effect the NRA will have on providing a stable 
level of Folsom Lake. This would improve the recre- 
ational aspects of Folsom Lake State Park. 

- "Federal control and operation of the NRA will just 
impose another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy..." 
which would "...dilute, or result in the total loss of local 
control." 

08398 Sacramento County Water Resources 
Division; City of Sacramento Flood Control and 
Sewers Division; and City of Sacramento Water 
Division: "...request the study include an investigation 
of NRA compatibility with operations and maintenance 
of the Flood Control System." 

- The study "...fails to address the use of the American 
River as a water supply resource for the region, or how 
creation of the NRA might affect such use. 

- "Staff recommends that a Management Plan be 
developed before the NRA goes to Congress in order 
to obtain local support, allow for adequate review of the 
plan by local agencies, and facilitate inclusion of 
objectives and purposes important to the welfare of the 
residents of the County and City." 

00611 (also 08397) American River Flood Control 
District: "...sees a distinct disadvantage to flood 
control interests of Sacramento if any part of the 
American River watershed is designated as a National 
Recreation Area." 



emphatically opposed to any lessening in the flood 
protection provided by Folsom. In the District's opin- 
ion, the so-called advantage the draft study sees in an 
NRA designation would in fact by extremely harmful to 
Sacramento." 

00668 The Auburn City Council: voted four to one 
opposing a NRA because minimum criteria to establish 
an NRA were not met "...and, therefore, is not in the 
best interest of the City." 

***** The County of El Dorado Board of Supervi- 
sors: passed a resolution strongly opposing the 
proposed NRA. 

- "...creation of an NRA could severely restrict, diminish 
and potentially prove very damaging to and result in 
the loss of property rights of private landholders, and to 
the future of the County as a whole..." 

- "...much needed water storage or diversion projects 
could be denied El Dorado County..." 

- "...the feasibility study failed to consider these and 
other economic effects of an NRA upon El Dorado 
County..." 

00759 John Sullivan, Director of the Rancho 
Murieta Community Services District: opposes 
establishment of a NRA. 

- 'The creation of this recreation area would preclude 
the construction of a multi-purpose dam..." 



- "Any additional level of governmental administration 
over the present American River Parkway will further 
complicate the ability of the American River Flood 
Control District to ...protect the safety of the City of 
Sacramento..." 

- "Furthermore, the draft study does not point to any 
real advantage that would result from designation of 
the watershed as an NRA. For example, the draft 
study does not demonstrate that already well-managed 
recreation areas would be better managed as an NRA, 
or that additional federal dollars would be available to 
support the NRA if it is established." 

- 'There is one so-called advantage that the draft study 
seems to see in creation of an NRA, namely, increased 
ability to maintain minimum flows in the lower Ameri- 
can River and minimum water levels at Folsom Lake. 
These advantages, however, can be achieved only in 
one of two ways: either by constructing additional 
upstream storage, or by decreasing the flood control 
space that presently exists in Folsom. While the 
District supports additional conservation, it is most 



- Mr. Sullivan believes a multi-purpose dam is essential 
to meet the requirement for increased water service 
and flood control. 

08398 County of Sacramento, Department of Parks 
and Recreation: Director Gene Andal states 'The 
Department of Parks and Recreation and it's Commis- 
sion believe that additional information is needed 
before a position can be taken on whether a NRA 
should be established and on whether the American 
River Parkway should be included. It is our position 
that if Congress decides to pursue establishment of an 
NRA that the public and local government should first 
have the opportunity to review and comment on a 
management plan, the appropriate environmental 
documents and on the specific legislation setting forth 
the NRA." 

- 'The Draft American River NRA Feasibility Study 
leaves unanswered too many questions about the 
desirability of a NRA within the American River water- 
shed." 



90 



- 'What additional protection, if any, would be accorded 
the American River Parkway if it were included in a 
NRA?" 

- "What advantage(s), if any, are there to Sacramento 
County to have the American River Parkway part of an 
NRA, rather than adjacent to an NRA?" 

- "Would inclusion of the American River Parkway in an 
NRA involve a federal commitment to any particular 
instream flow regime?" 

- 'Would Sacramento County continue to be the 
autonomous managing agency of the American River 
Parkway if the Parkway were part of an NRA?" 

- Which federal Agency would be the oversight author- 
ity? 

- 'Would inclusion of the Parkway... guarantee federal 
financial assistance in the acquisition of private 
inholdings..." 

- "Is there any reason to think that inclusion of the 
American River Parkway in an NRA would include a 
commitment of Congressional funding to Sacramento 
County..." 

- "How is 'optimum public benefit' defined? What 
'optimum public benefit' had been identified which 
requires Federal participation..." 

- 'What is the effect of ...NRA on existing State Parks 
management contract for Folsom Lake?" 

- 'What is the effect of a NRA on distribution and sale 
of water rights from Folsom Lake?" 

- In the study, the American River Parkway in not 
covered in terms of Criterion 3 and needs to be 
analyzed to show whether or not the segment meets 
Criterion 4. 

- How the American River Parkway will be affected 
under various dam scenarios ought to be discussed. 

90005 American River Flood Control District and 
California Central Valley Flood Control Associa- 
tion, represented by George Basye from the law 
firm of Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer: oppose 
a NRA, particularly in the portion of the river below 
Nimbus Dam. 



- "...have an interest in developing new facilities such 
as Auburn Dam to help regulate devastating flood 
flows." 

- "However, the District and the Association believe 
there also is need for additional water for agriculture 
and municipal uses and river flows for recreation and 
environmental enhancement that would be available 
only from a multi-purpose facility." 

- "Both the District and the Association oppose desig- 
nation of any part of the American River watershed as 
a NRA." 

- "...the draft study does not demonstrate that already 
well-managed recreation areas would be better 
managed as an NRA, or that additional federal dollars 
would be available..." 

- The District and Association "...are most emphatically 
opposed to any lessening in the flood protection 
provided by Folsom." 

08398 County of Placer Board of Supervisors: 

passed a resolution opposing the NRA because 

- "...state and local agencies have ensured resource 
protection and provided recreation in accordance with 
the provisions of the California Environmental Quality 
Act..." 

- "...state and local authorities have a better sensitivity 
for the needs of the region and better resources to fulfill 
those needs..." 

- "...nothing in the draft study.. .indicates.. .current 
management practices... are deficient.. .or that federal 
management would provide. ..improvements..." 

- "...a NRA would move ultimate management authority 
3,000 miles away from Auburn..." 

- Other NRAs "...have been established that do not 
conform.. .to the requirements of the criteria and can be 
the result of current political considerations as much if 
not more than the application of formal policy criteria..." 

- "...the cultural and historic sites listed in table 3-6 as 
having significance, do no appear in California Register 
of Landmarks, California Points of Historic Interest, nor 
the National Register of Historic Places, and 

none. ..have been nominated..." 



- "Any additional level of governmental administration 
...will further complicate ...the prime function ...which is 
to protect the safety of the City of Sacramento in this 
way." 



- "...recently designated NRAs have, when authorized, 
emphasized resources protection over recreation; and 
...enabling legislation can include a prohibition on any 
current valid existing rights and can terminate rights 
pre-dating the legislation..." 

91 



- "...the desirability of designation is not clearly stated, 
and the criteria are exceptionally vague..." 

- "...a NRA may be used to impede the ultimate 
development of a multi-purpose project at Auburn." 

00624 Board of Supervisors of San Joaquin 
County based in Stockton, CA: believes "...the 
section of the report regarding the authorized Auburn 
Dam Project is incomplete ..." "The authorized Auburn 
Project would provide additional water supply which 
would tend to stabilize the water level in Folsom 
Reservoir which would improve the recreational 
opportunities at Folsom Reservoir..." and the Lower 
American River. - The Board of Supervisors passed a 
resolution which included the following statements: 

• "...San Joaquin County has a critical need to 
obtain supplemental surface water supplies..." 

• "...State and Federal agencies have directed San 
Joaquin County to obtain the necessary supple- 
mental surface water supplies from the American 
River..." 

• San Joaquin County supports a multi-purpose 
dam at Auburn 

• "...the recreation area does not meet the ac- 
cepted criteria for a national recreation area and 
that recreation in the area can better be managed 
by State and local authorities..." 

• "establishment of the National Recreation Area 
could preclude the future construction of a multi- 
purpose dam..." 

• Therefore "...the San Joaquin County Board of 
Supervisors oppose the creation of a National 
Recreation Area..." 

00671 American River Authority in Placerville, CA: 

opposes the NRA since it "...could hinder, even 
preclude, the development of a multi-purpose project." 

- 'The American River Authority prefers that legislation 
creating an NRA be considered after a dam alternative 
is selected. Moreover, the establishment of an NRA 
should not occur until after an expandable flood control 
dam is expanded to its full size." 

- The American River Authority believes "...there is no 
rationale at this time to establish an NRA" and that the 
Study Area in not nationally significant nor does it meet 
the criteria for NRA designation." 



- "...existing recreational opportunities, facilities, and 
management objectives of federal, state and local 
agencies are satisfactory." No local governmental 
agency can support another layer of bureaucracy. 

- 'The BLM draft report fails to show an unequivocal 
need for federally-developed recreation..." and "...the 
North Fork Wild River and South Fork segments are 
inconsistent with the criteria that NRAs be designed for 
heavy recreation use..." 



- "Minimum flows are a regulatory issue — not an issue 
on which establishment of an NRA should be justified. 
Clearly, minimum water levels in Folsom Reservoir 
would be stabilized with the construction of a multipur- 
pose project at Auburn. Minimum water levels can 
only be stabilized by impeding flood control capacity or 
reducing water supply deliveries. Clearly, neither is the 
function nor intent of an NRA." 

- 'The Authority does not believe it is realistic to 
assume that a significant federal investment will follow 
the establishment of an NRA." 

- The Authority also passed a resolution opposing the 
NRA stating 

• "...ample recreational opportunities are available 
within the study area, and ...historic and cultural 
resources are adequately preserved and pro- 
tected..." 

• "...Study fails to substantiate the need for a NRA 
designation and, further, guarantees neither the 
improvement of recreational opportunities nor 
greater resource protection;" 

08397 and 08400 Sacramento Area Flood Control 
Agency: Board of Directors passed a resolution stating 
that "...there needs to be substantial additional informa- 
tion provided and considered before the Agency can 
take any position for or against the designation..." 

- The Agency also states "...local government should 
first have the opportunity to review and comment on 
the specific legislation authorizing the NRA, the 
management plan, and the appropriate environmental 
documentation." 

- "No NRA should be designated unless it is consistent 
with the following principles: a) The preservation of 
exclusive local management and operational responsi- 
bility for the American River Parkway, b) The preserva- 
tion of the existing statutory priorities at Folsom 
Reservoir which are: first, flood control; and second, 
water and power, c) The preservation of neutrality on 
the issue of whether or not the flood control dam at 
Auburn will ever be expanded in the future, d) Assur- 



92 



ance that the local governmental responsibilities for 
flood control maintenance, water supply, and water 
management will not be adversely affected." 

- The SAFCA staff added additional comments: 

• In times of huge federal deficits, it is doubtful a 
new NRA will receive substantial federal funding. 
"The end result could be all of the federal rules 
and regulations of an NRA with none of the 
benefit of federal funding." 

• SAFCA must work with the authors of the en- 
abling NRA legislation to protect its major inter- 
est, flood control. 

• Removal of land from county tax rolls will result in 
a substantial reduction in local government 
revenue. 

Part of 08397 Sacramento County Board of Super- 
visors, Sacramento City Council, Sutter County 
Board of Supervisors, American River Flood 
Control District, Reclamation District 1000: re- 
viewed the SAFCA staff report and adopted the 
SAFCA resolution. 

Utilities/Water District 

00675 Georgetown Divide Public Utility District in 
Georgetown, CA: is disturbed that District interests 
were not represented on the Steering Committee and 
questions whether water development needs were 
given any consideration. 

- They believe the American River Parkway and State 
Recreation Area at Folsom are well-managed and do 
not require federal involvement. 

- They believe a multi-purpose dam will benefit Folsom 
Lake and the American River Dam. 

- "...the District agrees that the overall recreational 
potential of the subject area is substantial; however, we 
fail to see that the designation as a NRA is in the best 
interests of the STate, the County, or the local commu- 
nity. It adds a layer of bureaucracy that is unwarranted 
and expensive. It obligates vast sums of many to a 
financially strapped government without demonstrating 
an over-riding need. It restricts the rights of adjacent 
property owners..." 

- The Study "...lacks the necessary unbiased documen- 
tation to support the claim that the American River 
Study Area is nationally significant and meets the 
criteria for establishment of an NRA." 



- The Board of Directors passes a resolution opposing 
the NRA and state that the "...Study fails to include the 
data, plans and results of the many federal, state, and 
local agency's efforts in establishing recreational 
opportunities now and for the future in the same study 
area" and that "...the Feasibility Study conclusions 
were drawn without adequate local agencies input and 
comments." 

00621 Pacific Gas and Electric Company: is 

concerned that NRA designation "...could prevent 
future development of water storage or water diversion 
projects." 

- The study "...did not address or consider the adverse 
effects of an NRA upon the current and future resi- 
dents of El Dorado County." 

- NRA designation of the South Fork is especially 
"...unsuitable since ownership along this water course 
is predominantly private." 

00672 Placer County Water Agency based in 
Auburn, CA: opposes the NRA because "...designa- 
tion could interfere with, or even prevent, the develop- 
ment of a multipurpose Auburn Dam..." 

- They suggest "...an NRA be considered after a dam 
alternative is selected." 

- "...Study fails to substantiate the need for a National 
Recreation Area does not guarantee the improvement 
of recreational opportunities or greater resource 
protection. State and local agencies have assured that 
ample recreational opportunities are available within 
the study area and that historic and cultural resources 
are adequately preserved." 

00609 Sacramento Area Water Authority: believes 
"...the American River watershed does not meet the 
established criteria for an NRA and that designation of 
any part of the area as an NRA is neither desirable nor 
feasible." 

- "BLM violated Congressional directives by including 
the lower American river in the study area, and by not 
explicitly assessing whether the established criteria for 
an NRA would be met if a flood control dam and if a 
multi-purpose dam were constructed in the Auburn 
canyon;" 

- 'The draft study is superficial and contains virtually no 
substantive or quantitative analysis;" 

- 'The draft study's conclusions are not supported by 
the limited analysis contained in it;" 



93 



- "If the draft study shows anything, it establishes that 
the upper American River, even as it exists now, does 
not meet the established criteria for an NRA in two 
fundamental respects: (i) the major recreational values 
of the area are largely inaccessible and for the most 
part appeal to a limited number of relatively skilled 
athletes and recreationists, such as those who enjoy 
Whitewater rafting and endurance races; (ii) there is no 
necessity for further federal involvement in the area. 
Another layer of bureaucracy only would complicate, 
and not streamline, the area's management." 

- 'The draft feasibility study demonstrates that an NRA 
would be incompatible with a multi-purpose dam in the 
Auburn canyon." 

- "...Folsom Reservoir, Lake Natoma and the lower 
American River should be eliminated from the discus- 
sion of whether the criteria for an NRA are met..." 

00655 Board of Directors of the Citrus Heights 
Irrigation District: passed a resolution opposing the 
NRA. 

- The Citrus Heights Irrigation District believes "...a 
multipurpose dam at or near Auburn is essential to 
meet increasing demands for water service..." and that 

- "...the American River watershed does not meet any 
of the accepted criteria for a National Recreation 
Area..." 

- Also, the "...Feasibility Study does not demonstrate 
...a National Recreation Area is either feasible or 
desirable..." 

- "...the State of California and the County of Sacra- 
mento have proven effective in managing the re- 
sources of the American River Watershed and estab- 
lishment of a NRA would ...dilute local control and 
funding;" 

- "...a NRA would impose an unnecessary bureaucracy 
...thereby impeding effective management..." and 
"...preclude the future construction of a multi-purpose 
dam..." 

00661 Fair Oaks Water District Board of Directors: 

passed a resolution opposing the NRA because 

- "...state and local agencies have ensured resource 
protection and provided recreation in accordance with 
the provisions of the California Environmental Quality 
Act..." 



- "...state and local authorities have a better sensitivity 
for the needs of the region and better resources to fulfill 
those needs..." 

- "...nothing in the draft study.. .indicates.. .current 
management practices... are deficient. ..or that federal 
management would provide. ..improvements..." 

- "...a NRA would move ultimate management authority 
3,000 miles away from Auburn..." 

- The Federal Government is over three trillion dollar in 
debt 

- Other NRAs "...have been established that do not 
conform.. .to the requirements of the criteria and can be 
the result of current political considerations as much if 
not more than the application of formal policy criteria..." 

- "...the recreational and scenic qualities of the study 
area have neither been shown to be rare, unusual, or 
significant enough to merit a national designation..." 

- "...the cultural and historic sites listed in table 3-6 as 
having significance, do no appear in California Register 
of Landmarks, California Points of Historic Interest, nor 
the National Register of Historic Places, and 

none. ..have been nominated..." 

- "...recently designated NRAs have, when authorized, 
emphasized resources protection over recreation, but 
enabling legislation can include a prohibition on any 
current valid existing rights and can terminate rights 
pre-dating the legislation..." 

- "...the desirability of designation is not clearly stated, 
and the criteria are exceptionally vague..." 

- "...federal funding to improve and develop a National 
Recreation Area in Humboldt County has not material- 
ized, and has in fact lead to the loss of 8,000 jobs..." 

- "...a NRA may be used to impede the ultimate 
development of a multi-purpose project at Auburn." 

00658 San Juan Suburban Water District based in 
Roseviile, CA: passed a resolution opposing the NRA. 
The Board of Directors believes 

- "...state and local agencies have ensured resource 
protection and provided recreation in accordance with 
the provisions of the California Environmental Quality 
Act..." 

- "...state and local authorities have a better sensitivity 
for the needs of the region and better resources to fulfill 
those needs..." 



94 



- "...nothing in the draft study.. .indicates.. .current 
management practices. ..are deficient. ..or that federal 
management would provide. ..improvements..." 

- "...the recreational and scenic qualities.. .have neither 
been shown to be rare, unusual, or significant enough 
to merit a national designation..." 

- "...the cultural and historic sites listed in table 3-6 as 
having significance, do no appear in California Register 
of Landmarks, California Points of Historic Interest, nor 
the National Register of Historic Places, and 

none. ..have been nominated..." 

- "...the desirability of designation is not clearly state, 
and the criteria are exceptionally vague..." 

- "...a NRA may be used to impede the ultimate 
development of a multi-purpose project at Auburn. 

00665 Orangevale Mutual Water Company, CA: 

passed a resolution opposing the NRA 

- "...state and local authorities have a better sensitivity 
for the needs of the region and better resources to fulfill 
those needs..." 

- "...nothing in the draft study.. .indicates. ..current 
management practices... are deficient. ..or that federal 
management would provide. ..improvements..." 

- "...a NRA would move ultimate management authority 
3,000 miles away from Auburn..." 

- The Federal Government is over three trillion dollar in 
debt 

- "...the desirability of designation is not clearly stated, 
and the criteria are exceptionally vague..." 

- "...federal funding to improve and develop a National 
Recreation Area in Humboldt County has not material- 
ized, and has in fact lead to the loss of 8,000 jobs..." 

- "...a NRA may be used to impede the ultimate 
development of a multi-purpose project at Auburn." 

- "...a Multi-Purpose Dam at Auburn would meet the 
future and immediate needs of the people of the entire 
area, providing ample water supplies for Domestic, 
Commercial, Irrigation, and Fire Protection; and 
...provide... flood protection, convenient recreational 
facilities and even inexpensive hydroelectric power..." 



Business/Organization 

00619 Environmental Defense Fund In Oakland, 

CA: "...we believe there is no justification for the 
construction of any such dam. Indeed, the values of 
the area are so high that NRA designation is the 
minimum protection that should be enacted. Greater 
protection, such as designation of the river segments 
as wild and scenic, is far to be preferred." 

- BLM's "...study understates the value of the area by 
failing to provide all the justification available to support 
NRA designation." 

- 'The study fails to address how wildlife needs will be 
served under NRA designation." 

- 'This study lacks adequate detail as to the manage- 
ment of the NRA." 

- 'The study lacks sufficient detail as to its boundaries. 
Vagueness ...may cause concern ...among private 
property owners..." 

09228 Folsom Lake Marina: "...support a multi- 
purpose dam at Auburn as the best means of achiev- 
ing the necessary level of flood control for Sacrmaneto 
as well as a needed water supply for California. Also 
for maintianing water levels on Folsom Lake suitable 
for recreation." 

- "We are against the NRA.... We are happy with local 
government managing the recreation in this area and 
do not want another level of bureaucracy involved." 

00613 Mother Lode Goldhound Association from 
Auburn, CA:\s concerned about "...the mining heri- 
tage that would be lost if a big dam is built." 

00626 American River Coalition in Sacramento: 

"...there is likely no need to acquire any property, 
whether within the Auburn project lands or along the 
South Fork, under anything except willing-seller 
conditions." 

- 'The idea here is to preserve the rivers in their free- 
flowing states and because the Auburn project lands 
are already 80% public, the wilderness character of the 
canyons and the wildlife benefits therein are a positive 
adjunct to the rivers themselves." 

- "Addition of the other segments of river into the NRA 
provides establishment of the most unique, most 
complete river system 'parkway' in the country." 



95 



- "Additionally, while there might be instances in which 
lands need to be acquired for endangered species or 
for other purposes, that responsibility lies elsewhere 
and should be clearly stated as such." 

08561 Lisbeth Henning, acting Director of National 
Trust for Historic Preservation: commends BLM for 
a thorough job in assessing the historical and cultural 
resources within the American River Study Area. Of 
great concern to the National Trust regarding the 
proposed NRA is a 1990 letter by the Department of 
Parks and Recreation (DPR): Henning states "while the 
letter generally is concerned with issues of recreation, 
management and jurisdiction, the comments regarding 
cultural features, seems unfounded... The fact that the 
Auburn Reservoir area of the American River District 
has no California Points of Historical Interest, nor 
National Register sites, points more to the lack of 
commitment on the part of DPR to these preservation 
programs than to the lack of significance of the fea- 
tures and properties." Henning makes reference to the 
Auburn Folsom General Plan. On page 55 of the plan 
it states: 'The Auburn Reservoir area is rich in historic 
sites, with 706 recorded to date. The most significant 
of these sites relates to the gold rush era, a period of 
great significance to the locality, the state and the 
nation. Because of the abundance of features, the 
property retains the integrity of the era." 

08398 Joseph Mehrten representing the Auburn 
Dam Council: noted that "...nowhere does it clearly 
speak of fresh water as a natural resource to be 
preserved for recreational use." 

- Mr. Mehrten does not consider the cultural, historic or 
natural features of the canyons unique or significant. 

- The draft neglected to mention the detriment to 
recreation values at Folsom Lake and in the Parkway 
without a full-size Auburn Dam. 

- 'The Draft ...places much emphasis on the downside 
of 'inundation' however its positive scenic benefits are 
almost totally neglected. 

- Mr. Mehrten questions whether NRA designation will 
provide management benefits considering "Local 
government institutions would have only token influ- 
ence on recreational decisions" and since the Federal 
government is over 3 trillion dollars in debt. 

00650 The Sacramento Bee: In an editorial address- 
ing the NRA, the Bee states "BLM has done its work 
fairly. Its draft report indicates that there are resources 
that would be worth preserving in a national recreation 
area at Auburn no matter what kind of structure gets 
built." 



- 'The council and the supervisors should be careful to 
make it clear that while a national recreational area at 
Auburn would be very desirable in principle, flood 
control for Sacramento has to come first." 

08384 California Chamber of Commerce: C.W.H. 
Solinsky, Resources Director, "...is concerned with the 
possible implications that an American River NRA may 
have on flood control protection for the Sacramento 
area." 

- "...NRA may hinder the chance of an expandable 
Auburn dam..." 

- "We believe the Auburn site on the American River 
should not be designated a NRA at this time." 

00651 Defenders of Wildlife in Sacramento, CA: 

supports the NRA and believes "...there is no question 
that these study segments possess outstanding natural 
and cultural features and provide significant recre- 
ational opportunities." 

- "In addition, we recommend that all of the rivers within 
these study segments be protected as free-flowing 
rivers. In this regard, we oppose Auburn Dam, and we 
believe that the no-dam alternative or flood control dam 
would not affect the character of these free-flowing 
rivers, but would provide adequate flood protection for 
Sacramento." 

- "...construction and filling of Auburn Dam would 
destroy important wildlife habitats and over 48 miles of 
the North and Middle Forks of the American River. In 
addition to the direct loss of wildlife habitats, Auburn 
Dam and the resulting reservoir would substantially 
fragment remaining wildlife habitats. Recent studies 
have shown that the accelerating fragmentation and 
isolation of habitats is a substantial contributor in the 
extinction of extirpation of species." 

00617 The Planning and Conservation League, 
Sacramento CA: states "...the Canyons are a national 
resource which should not be flooded..." 

- 'The study does not discuss the significant benefits 
that would result from designation of the area as an 
NRA. It also does not describe the uniqueness of an 
NRA which links four types of recreational resources - 
a valley river, a reservoir, foothill rivers and mountain 
rivers. Tying these segments together would substan- 
tially enhance the recreation potential of each indi- 
vidual segments." 

- 'The uniqueness of the recreational opportunities 
should be more thoroughly discussed and evaluated in 
the study." 



96 



- "It is also clear that if the Auburn Canyon area was 
flooded the value of the NRA would be substantially 
diminished." 

- 'The analysis of the wildlife and natural values of the 
Canyon is especially lacking in detail." 

- "Similarly, the effects of any of the flood control 
alternatives on the values of the Auburn Canyon are 
particularly vague." 

- "We also believe that the effects of periodic flooding 
on the steep terrain of the Auburn Canyon Area is 
inadequately analyzed." 

- 'The steep canyons of the North and Middle Forks 
...are what severely limits the recreation potential of 
any reservoir in the area." 

00662 Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce: 

opposes NRA designation because it "...will not 
enhance recreation nor has any potential for federal 
funding to develop recreational facilities been demon- 
strated historically with other NRAs throughout the 
nation." 

- 'The Chamber has confidence that state and local 
authorities have a better sensitivity for the needs of the 
region and proven resources to fulfill those needs." 

- 'The Chamber believes the City of Auburn and the 
greater Auburn area would be a 'buffer zone' for the 
NRA and therefore, local government could be subject 
to review of federal agencies regarding (self-determi- 
nation) issues of local concern." 

00659 Building Industry Association of Superior 
California based in Sacramento, CA: opposes the 
NRA because "...it would lead to future water short- 
ages, unacceptable flood hazards, a decline in the 
recreational value of Lake Folsom and the lower 
American river, and downstream environmental 
problems resulting from inadequate water flow." 

- BIA believes "...an NRA designation would be misap- 
plied and counter-productive. ..and would lead to a 
lower quality of life for area residents." 

- "...establishment of a NRA.. .would be a serious 
impediment to developing the water resources of the 
area, including, ...construction of a multi-purpose 
dam..." 

- BIA supports construction of a multi-purpose dam 
because "California and the greater Sacramento area 
need additional reliable water resources." 



- "Flood control provided by a multi-purpose dam at 
Auburn is critical to the safety of current and future 
residents in the Sacramento area. ...many residents 
will face sharp increases in the cost of flood insurance 
if additional flood protection is not provided." 

- "Existing recreational opportunities... are already well 
managed by state and local agencies. It is doubtful 
that federal management would yield any substantial 
recreational improvements. However, completion of the 
dam at Auburn would allow water levels and flows to 
be managed in such a manner as to greatly enhance 
the recreational value of Lake Folsom and the lower 
American River." 

- BIA believes a multi-purpose dam would produce 
environmentally "...'clean' hydro-electric power" and 
that the NRA proposal is an attempt "...to subvert the 
will of the majority of area residents." 

***** Auburn Dam Council from Roseville, CA: 

"...anti-dammers...view the NRA as a deterrent to any 
further construction at Auburn." 

- "...I question the feasibility and desirability of the NRA 
designation when the State Department of Parks and 
Recreation (DPR) is already committed to providing 
recreation for the full-sized multi-purpose dam. 

- "...DPR is already maintaining the area. And, as I 
understand it, have restated their commitment to 
operating and maintaining this resource..." 

00652 The Wilderness Society in San Francisco, 

CA: "Although the study provides a comprehensive 
assessment of many aspects of the NRA proposals, 
there are some important issues which require further 
clarification in order to provide decision makers with 
the information necessary to make informed choices." 

- "...more discussion addressing the desirability of NRA 
designation is needed. Specifically, the numerous 
environmental and recreational benefits of NRA 
designation need greater elaboration." 

- "Without properly conceived NRA protection, many 
important wildlife areas as well as cultural and historic 
values would be destroyed if a dam was built." 

- "One important benefit of NRA designation would be 
to protect over 80,000 acres of wildlife habitat, recre- 
ation lands, historic areas and cultural sites. Ecosys- 
tem maintenance is one of the most important of these 
benefits, particularly in light of the habitat encroach- 
ment and destruction which is now occurring in the 
Sierra foothills due to expanding human populations. 
The wide range of species present in the study area, 



97 



including weasels, river otters, black bears, cougars, 
Chinook salmon, striped bass, eagles and dog-faced 
butterflies, just to name a few, illustrates the impor- 
tance of preserving this unique habitat area. A prop- 
erly designed NRA would help preserve sufficiently 
sizeable habitat ranges to promote high levels of 
biodiversity, a particularly important issue in the face of 
increasing regional development pressures." 

- 'The should make clear to private landowners that an 
NRA would not be likely to adversely affect their 
interests, this point is particularly important in light of 
the fact that a portion of the opposition to NRA desig- 
nation is based on the misconception that private land 
interests would be widely harmed." 

00663 The Greater Auburn Property Owners 
Association: objects to the NRA because: 

- "It is unnecessary. This area is presently well man- 
aged by our State Parks and Recreation Department. 
Federal control historically brings uncertain manage- 
ment, uncertain funding, uncertain 'take lines' and 
'buffer zones' and uncertain and unwanted restric- 
tions." 

- 'The area does not meet the criteria for a NRA 
designation. Features listed are not significant..." 

- "...why should private property be threatened?" 



any event, the report does make clear that the dry dam 
alternative would have less negative impact on the 
recreation values of the canyons than any of the other 
dam alternatives." 

- "...resource economists have come to recognize that 
existence value is a real economic quantity. Given the 
huge population growth this area is experiencing, we 
believe that the value-both tangible and existence 
value-of the unflooded canyons far outweigh the limited 
benefits (relative to the tremendous capital costs) of 
any dam alternative which results in permanent 
flooding of the canyons. The class-ll segment of the 
lower Middle Fork provides a long, easily canoeable 
river run in a wilderness setting — this is nearly unique 
in Sierra Rivers, and it, as well as many other values, 
would be lost by any permanent inundation." 

- "We believe that additional recreation development is 
acceptable ...but very careful attention needs to be 
given to habitat protection as well as issues such as 
solitude and privacy which affect the quality of the 
recreation experience." 

- "Over-all responsibility should be entrusted to a 
Federal Agency; the widely different management 
needs and problems of the five segments suggest that 
actual on-ground management of the segments could 
be easily divided between local, state, and federal 
agencies." 



- If a multi-purpose dam is constructed, "How will this 
steep-banked flooded area accommodate a National 
audience?" 



00643 Labor and Business Alliance of the Capitol 
Area: also passed a resolution opposing NRA in 
Auburn. 



00653 Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club in 
Sacramento, CA: believes "All five segments have a 
diversity of significant values pertinent to the criteria; 
taken as a whole, the area offers a model opportunity 
to develop a National Recreation Area." 



- LABA believes a multipurpose dam at Auburn is 
"...the best means of achieving the necessary level of 
flood control protection for Sacramento as well as 
needed water supply and hydro-electric energy for the 
area..." 



- 'The Study Management Team and the Steering 
committee deserve considerable credit for producing a 
well-organized, readable report. ...the only serious 
complaint ...we have about the process is your failure 
to adequately consider the public comments submitted 
during the scoping meetings." 



- LABA believes state and local governmental agencies 
"...are already providing excellent service..." and should 
not be managed by a federal agency. "Additional 
recreational facilities can be provided by local and state 
agencies surrounding the reservoir to be created by a 
full service Auburn Dam..." 



- 'The North Fork Wild River Segment includes lands 
which are wilderness quality and should eventually be 
incorporated in a North Fork American Wilderness 
Area, administered by the Forest Service." 

- "We do have concerns about the extent of habitat 
destruction which may occur because of periodic 
inundation due to the dry dam — we hope the Corps of 
Engineers EIS will competently address this issue. In 



- In LABA's opinion, BLM failed to show the "...need for 
or the benefits to be provided, nor even conformance 
with Congressional mandate in ordering the study." 

- 'The establishment of a NRA threatens the building of 
any water storage facility at Auburn..." 



El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce, 

CA: is concerned about the NRA proposal. They are 



98 



"Specifally opposed to the inclusion of the South Fork 
of the American River because of the potential loss of 
water to the citizens of El Dorado County, and because 
this NRA designation may make construction of 
essential water projects impossible." 

- 'The feasibility study drafted by the Bureau of Land 
Management did not address this problem, or consider 
the adverse effect of an NRA upon the current and 
future residents of El Dorado County." 

- 'The more fundamental issue is whether water will be 
available for consumption in El Dorado County if 
upriver water rights are given over to strictly recre- 
ational uses." 

00734 El Dorado Association of Realtors, Inc.: is 

"...strongly opposed to the designation of the American 
River as a NRA. We believe the public and local 
citizens can best be served if those lands remain under 
local control." 

- 'The property rights of many private citizens are at 
stake, in particular along the South Fork..." 

- The Association would like to know the impacts of 
NRA on availability of water for consumptive use, 
storage facilities, logging, local tax revenues, and 
questions the need for more federal control. 

06854 Terry Wright from Wilderness Interpretation, 
Forestville, CA: supports the establishment of an NRA 
and opposes any plan that includes Auburn reservoir. 
Terry is a geology professor and does research in the 
area. He states the area is a "geological laboratory for 
study of the Sierra Foothills geology and should be 
protected so that future geologists and students can 
continue to learn from the geology here." 

00600 and 00601 Fairbank, Bregman and Maullin 
in San Francisco, Ca: conducted an Auburn Dam 
Public Opinion Survey for Sacramento Water Intelli- 
gently Managed. 

- "In a random survey of 1 ,050 registered voters living 
in all of Sacramento county plus portions of El Dorado, 
Placer, San Joaquin and Yolo counties, support is 
overwhelming for construction of an Auburn Dam, 
especially a multi-purpose one. The high level of 
support occurs because voters want a dam that will do 
more than just increase flood protection. They want 
the increased water supply, power supply and im- 
proved recreational facilities that would result from 
construction of a multi-purpose Auburn Dam." 



00855 Michael Gualco of Palisades Development, 
Inc. in Sacramento, CA: advises BLM that their 
clients oppose designation of an NRA. They believe 
the study area fails to meet the criteria for designation 
for the following reasons: 

- "study area lacks outstanding natural and /or cultural 
features. 

- "management of the study area should remain in the 
jurisdiction of the state and local agencies, without 
Federal agency intervention" 

- "NRA would place undue hardship and restrictions 
on the rights of private property owners" 

- "NRA threatens authorization and construction of a 
multipurpose dam in Auburn" 

00615 Labor and Business Alliance of the Capitol 
Area: believes "...the NRA is an attempt to stop the 
possible construction of a multipurpose dam. We also 
believe the Auburn Ravine area does not meet the 
criteria for an NRA, the draft study is unsupportably 
biased in favor of an NRA and the draft, in our opinion, 
violates the Congressional mandate to remain neutral 
on the issue of a multipurpose dam." 

09019 Steven Evans, Friends of the River Conser- 
vation Director: "...federal law requires a Wild and 
Scenic study of all the forks of the American River..." 

- 'The issue was raised six months ago in the scoping 
phase of the NRA study and has been ignored." 

- The conclusion that the opportunity for an NRA exists 
irrespective of the chosen water development alterna- 
tive "...is not supported by the facts found in the study." 

9090 George Dupray, Legislative Director of 
California State Grange: oppose the proposed NRA 
and "...are adamantly opposed to any designation that 
would delay or jeopardize the construction of the 
Auburn Dam." 

9052 Bill Drake, Member of Protect American River 
Canyons Board of Directors: 'The study is complete 
and it seems to consider all of the significant informa- 
tion that pertains to the subject." 

- However BLM's study does conflict with the original 
Auburn Dam Environmental Impact Statement regard- 
ing powerboating. 

- "One basic problem with a large reservoir is the fact 
that it would be seismically dangerous." 



99 



- "Inundation of 48 miles of this valuable historic 
resource cannot be mitigated by replacement with a 
low quality recreational lake with extreme level fluctua- 
tions." 

- The proposed NRA would make the river "...available 
for a variety of recreation, its access would be in- 
creased for the elderly and handicapped, and for 
families with young children..." 

- "...eminent domain is not an issue with the American 
River, and it is certainly not a concept that Protect 
American River Canyons supports." 

10077 California Cattlemen's Association: "...are 
concerned over the potential impact such designation 
would have on our industry." 

- "...our members interested in development of the 
Auburn Dam would be adversely affected." 

- "...our members will have to contend with additional 
trespass, possible restrictions on ranching operations 
and impacts on land values..." 

- "...we must object to designation of the area for the 
increased regulatory burden that will be imposed." 

07486 California Native Plant Society: "...is con- 
cerned that special status species are not adequately 
addressed as an important natural resource within the 
document." 

- "What level of priority would rare species protection 
have within an area managed primarily for recreation?" 

- "How would the cost of mitigation for impacts to 
special status species under the various dam sce- 
narios affect the feasibility of the NRA?" 

09113 Bill Homes, Business Representative with 
the Construction and General Laborers Local #185: 

"It is our belief that all recreational areas in our state 
should come under local control, not under federal 
control. They do not want the NRA." 

06731 Defenders of Wildlife in Sacramento, CA: 

refers to an article in Defenders magazine, "Ravage 
the Rivers, Banish the Birds," that describes "...the 
importance of California's dwindling riparian habitats, 
and the continuing threats to their survival." 

06772 David Nesmith, Conservation Director of the 
Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter: supports 
establishment of an American River NRA. "This is one 
of the most heavily used and enjoyed areas in the 



nation. It is also in one of the fastest growing areas in 
the nation, with a populatbn that values the outdoors 
and demands that outdoor amenities are provided. 

09063 Jerry Sayers, Chairman of the Cool-Pilot Hill 
Advisory Committee: 'There are grave concerns 
regarding the additional lands, over and above those 
lands already taken for the Auburn Area Project, that 
can be taken for the Auburn Area NRA." 

- "...the impact of taking those kind of dollars off the tax 
roles would certainly be felt." 

- "...I don't wish to see my tax money used for setting 
aside private land to be used for 'special uses' and un- 
warranted^ n-wanted Recreation Areas." 

09101 Nate Range! of the Western River Guides 
Association: "...agree with your conclusions as to the 
desirability of designating the study area as an NRA." 

- "We would not want to see any condemnation or right 
of eminent domain proceedings utilized to affect those 
rights." 

- "...we feel that the recreational rewards from a non- 
inundated NRA far outweigh those which accrue from a 
reservoir situation." 

05363 Dale George of Small Business Manage- 
ment from Georgetown: "I take a position of opposi- 
tion to this land acquisition. 'The People' have ac- 
quired enough land throughout the U.S. for preserva- 
tion and recreation. I believe the federal government 
must pay for and maintain those lands we already 
own." 

00531 Charles C. Walbridge from Wildwater 
Designs: strongly supports the American River 
National Recreation Area with the no-dam alternative 
"...which would protect the outstanding scenic, cultural, 
and recreational opportunities of the North and Middle 
Forks of the American River" and "...is vitally important 
to many of my customers..." 

- 'The proximity of these unique places to large 
numbers of ordinary people make the cost of the 
Auburn Dam, in my opinion, much too high." 

00083 Jim Mlddleton, Conservation Chair of the 
Sacramento Audubon Society: supports that an NRA 
is feasible on the American River and that they "recog- 
nize that the Auburn Dam issue must be resolved, but 
agree that NRA values still exist regardless of how the 
dam issue is resolved." 



100 



- The Society strongly support "free-flowing rivers on 
the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Forks ...all 
segments ot the river need to be managed for multiple 
uses including uses by wildlife." 

- The American River represents a rare and endan- 
gered habitat for wildlife and for human use." 

00610 American River Coalition from Sacramento, 

CA: "Designation of the American River NRA is clearly 
feasible. The study team has done an outstanding job 
of compiling information about the forks of the Ameri- 
can River and has presented it in very readable and 
understandable fashion." 

- "We believe that desirability of designation is clear. 
Therefore, the final report should be improved with 
addition of the following: 

• 'The North and Middle Forks are.. .uniquely 
scenic and contain recreational and wildlife 
opportunities not found near other urban set- 
tings." "For each segment, the benefits of desig- 
nation must be described..." 

• "...an outline of management scenarios and 
possibilities should be included in the final report. 
...without description of what the federal function 
would be with respect to local governance, local 
entities have assumed the worst case. They fear 
loss of jurisdiction or unmanageable layers of 
federal bureaucracy which would prevent their 
taking action on issues they currently handle 
completely adequately without interference." 

• "...the lack of clarity as to whether private lands 
are included in the study has led to extreme 
concern and confusion on the part of the public." 

• "...eminent domain has lost favor in recent years, 
is a more expensive method and is very likely 
undesirable for acquisition of recreation lands." 

• "...development of a management plan and 
identification of the precise boundaries of this 
NRA should precede designation." 

• 'There is insufficient discussion of habitat values 
of the rivers and canyons and how management 
for recreation would interfere or enhance them." 

• "After stating on p. 35 that the 'character of 
recreation opportunities lost because of inunda- 
tion are irreplaceable', ...the report concludes that 
the area qualifies for designation regardless of 
the dam option. The report cannot support every 
option and should clearly state the losses." 



• 'The final report needs information about the 
effects of NRA designation on property values 
within and adjacent to the designated area." 

• "As required by section 5(d) of the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act, BLM should undertake a 
study of the eligibility of all the forks of the 
American River for designation into the system." 

Individual Affiliated with an Organization 

09087 Bob Dorr: read at the Placerville public 
hearing resolutions passed by the El Dorado County 
Board of Supervisors and the American River Authority 
Board of Directors opposing the proposed NRA. 
(These resolutions are summarized under the 'Local 
Agencies' section of this summary.) 

09088 Gene Chappie: read at the Placerville public 
hearing the resolution passed by the El Dorado County 
Water Agency opposing the proposed NRA. (This 
resolution is summarized under the section 'Local 
Agencies'.) 

09009 Patricia Malberg, Candidate for U.S. Con- 
gress: is in favor of the proposed NRA for the North 
and Middle Forks. 

- "...find this to be an extraordinary place which is 
marvelously accessible." 

09039 Joe Sullivan, Candidate for State Senate: 

"...believe the attempt to introduce a National Recre- 
ation Area in the turmoil involving the Auburn Dam is a 
mistake that will haunt Calrfornians forever." 

- The draft glosses over water as a resource and its 
economic importance. "And, this is detrimental to the 
value of the Study and consideration of trade-off when 
evaluating the impact of a full service Auburn Dam..." 

05381 Daniel Houns from the Dept. of Geology, 
U.C. Davis: makes a suggestion to read Anthony 
Finnerty's report on the seismic hazards associated 
with the Auburn Dam. He states "the report is an 
objective summary of original work by geologists hired 
by various government agencies. ..the Bureau of 
Reclamation was the only agency that concluded that 
there was a negligible seismic hazard at the Auburn 
dam site. Every other agency concluded that there 
was a significant seismic hazard (at least that was their 
original conclusions before upper management forced 
changes in the reports)." 

00666 Londa Burkhart from Somerset, CA: is a 

member of the El Dorado County Association of 
Realtors. She is "...specifically opposed to the inclu- 



101 



sion of the South Fork of the American River in the 
NRA because of the negative effects it will have on the 
privately-owned land there." 

- "... private landowners would be subject to federal 
controls..." 

- 'The private property owner who does not comply 
with these regulations may suffer the loss of his or her 
land to condemnation." 

09089 Robert Flynn, member of Georgetown 
Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors: 

opposes the Draft American River NRA Feasibility 
Study Report and its recommendation. 

- "I believe the report is seriously flawed..." 

- "...the report makes no mention of a California State 
law which guides water development on the lower 
South Fork of the American River" (AB1354). 

00749 Joni Wallace from Cook & Cook Realtors in 
Roseville: is a member of the El Dorado County 
Association of Realtors is specifically opposed to "...the 
inclusion of the South Fork of the American River in the 
NRA because of the privately owned land there." 

- "Private landowners would be subject to federal 
controls..." 

- 'The private property owner who does not comply 
with these regulations may suffer the loss of his or her 
land to condemnation." 

00092 Warren Haines of Georgetown, CA: member 
of the Georgetown advisory committee "COCO", the 
Coalition of Community Organizations, and "FAWN", 
Friends Aware of Wildlife Needs, writes in support of 
the proposed NRA. He states the NRA "would help 
satisfy our needs for additional parklands, contribute 
greatly to our presently weak economic base and, most 
important, maintain an 80,000 acre wildlife habitat, and 
natural ecosystem." Warren also sent us a copy of 
campaign letter against the NRA which he received in 
the mail. The letter reads in bold type "SOMEONE IN 
YOUR COOKIE JAR?" "STEELING YOUR PROP- 
ERTY RIGHTS?" "THIS CALLS FOR URGENT 
ACTION" Mr. Haines states that the text contained 
"innuendo, half truths, false assumptions and out of 
context wording from the BLM study." He also states 
"the developer community is waging an aggressive and 
distorted campaign against the NRA by using 
fearmongering and disinformation as potent weapons 
to prey on the insecurities and fears of the 
public. ..while the truth remains that most citizens of El 
Dorado favor the NRA — Let's put it to vote!" 



00741 Dave Revering from the Real Estate Net- 
work in Cameron Park: is specifically "...opposed to 
the inclusion of the South Fork of the American River 
because of the potential loss of water to the citizens of 
El Dorado County, and because of this NRA designa- 
tion may make construction of essential water projects 
impossible." 

- 'The feasibility study... did not address this problem, 
or consider the adverse effects of an NRA upon the 
current and future residents of El Dorado County." 

- 'The more fundamental issue is whether water will be 
available for consumption in El Dorado County if 
upriver water rights are given over to strictly recre- 
ational uses. If NRA designation succeeds, the rights 
of El Dorado County to its own water could be chal- 
lenged by an NRA management policy that maintained 
the river level at a height that precluded consumptive 
taking. That is, water necessary to the citizens of El 
Dorado County for drinking could be reserved by the 
NRA management agency for rafting." 

00728 Kathy Wallee from Coker-Ewing in El 
Dorado Hills: is a member of the El Dorado County 
Association of Realtors is specifically opposed to "...the 
inclusion of the South Fork of the American River in the 
NRA because of the privately owned land there." 

- "Private landowners would be subject to federal 
controls..." 

- 'The private property owner who does not comply 
with these regulations may suffer the loss of his or her 
land to condemnation." 

00660 Bill Drake from Auburn, CA: who is a mem- 
ber of 'Protect American River Canyons' pointed out a 
discrepancy in the draft study. "...BLM adopted Califor- 
nia Department of Parks and Recreation's 1988 
assumption that the proposed Auburn Lake could have 
'3,400 acres of water skiing/powerboating'. Apparently 
CDPR was unaware of the Auburn Dam EIS's determi- 
nation that boats should be limited to 10 hp or less; 
Because of the narrowness of the lake, the steepness 
of the canyon walls, and the exposed 'bath tub ring', 
faster boats would create excessive danger, erosion, 
and noise." 

Individual with No Stated Affiliation 

04665 Teresa Schilling of Sacramento, CA: writes 
in support of an NRA. She comments that "as we deal 
with the ramifications of California's growth and water 
problems, we must look for solutions that do not 
destroy the very attractions that draw new people to 



102 



our beautiful state." She encourages the Bureau to 
"participate in creating the first river-based national 
recreation area in the nation." 

04525 George and Rhonda Ostertag of Salem, OR: 

write in support of an NRA. They state that the river 
"support a tremendous recreational resource for the 
nearby urban centers... the river should be managed 
with an emphasis on recreation, wildlife ecosystems, 
and historical significance." 

00638 Lisa Diamond form San Mateo, CA: "The 
Auburn Dam proximity to the Folsom Dam and popu- 
lated areas is too dangerous. Dam failure would 
devastate the downstream area." 

- 'The flood control issue of the area sounds like it's 
being used for overkill. Is a 200 year protection pack- 
age standard? I thought the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency was only 100 years." 

06801 KathyA. Christ from Lotus, CA: states that 
the study "leads landowners in the NRA boundary to 
believe that their lands could be condemned without 
question — it doesn't specify what kinds of lands, 
where, or that NRA legislation usually does and can 
include provisions to protect landowners and busi- 
nesses. Your omission of this important information 
has been used by anti-NRA factions to ignite people in 
my community into an absolute frenzy and opposition 
to NRA." 

- Kathy also disagrees with the conclusion that the 
Auburn Project Lands would be suitable for an NRA 
with a large dam... a 100-300 foot bathtub ring effect 
resulting from an Auburn reservoir would exist regularly 
in the canyons and more so in drought years." 

- "steep topography of the canyons would provide no 
beaches and barely any access. How then, is this 
compatible with NRA Criteria?" 

- "An Auburn Dam and reservoir would be devastating 
to one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the 
state, putting extensive trail systems, waterfalls, 
wildlife, history and spring wildflowers found nowhere 
else under water." 

07424 Jerry O'Connor of San Antonio, TX: is 

strongly in favor of an NRA. He states that "the river is 
an entity worthy of preservation" and is "opposed to the 
building of the Auburn dam on the basis of its exces- 
sive cost, the lack of certainty regarding the geologic 
stability of the area, and the absence of any clear 
economic benefit of the project for the general popula- 
tion." 



00622 Jerry Kaye Davis from Newcastle CA: would 
like to know 

- "Can you assure us that there will be no private 
property taken or scenic easements taken in Auburn 
Lake Trails?" 

- 'What is the process after you submit your final 
report, that is, what committee hears it, who are the 
members of the committee, what options will they 
consider, i.e., reject, authorize another study regarding 
desirability, draft enabling legislation, etc.?" 

00603 William and Naomi Minor from Foresthill, 

CA: support NRA designation for the North Fork Wild 
River Segment and the Auburn Project Segment "...to 
ensure preserving for future generations this 'Grand 
Canyon of California' and its natural beauty, wildlife 
and history." 

- Mr. and Mrs. Minor have "strong reservations" about 
including the South Fork Segment because it "...is 
already substantially developed with 60% of the land 
privately owned. Including this area in a National 
Recreation Area would result in extreme hardships for 
those who would be displaced and lose their homes of 
many years." 

- Since the Folsom Lake SRA and American River 
Parkway were all ready managed by state and local 
governments, "...inclusion in a National Recreation 
Area would serve no purpose." 

- Mr. and Mrs. Minor "...oppose construction of any- 
thing more than a flood-control dam at Auburn. A full 
size dam would 1) forsake the area's natural beauty, 
wildlife and history, 2) create a lake which, due to water 
level fluctuations, would serve no scenic or recreational 
purpose, and 3) substantially increase pressures for 
development by speculators." 

00606 Gary Reinoehl from Sacramento, CA: would 
support the NRA only "...if the State of California 
retains title and operation of their land." 

- BLM's study "...has not adequately addressed a 
number of cultural issues. Native American people 
collect plants within this area and the possible impact 
that inundation would have on this activity was never 
addressed..." "Discussions about the multi-purpose 
dam do not consider secondary effects ...to the re- 
sources at Folsom Lake. Numerous Native American 
sites at Folsom Lake would no longer be visible 
because of constantly higher water levels." 

- Mr. Reinoehl would like the American River kept free 
flowing. "This provides a more varied recreational 
experience in close proximity to a large urban area." 

103 



05365 Kathy Ayer Hannah from Oakland, CA: 

writes in support of designation of an NRA but with no 
dams... "it is very important to save areas like the 
American River for future generations. This means 
keeping the water flow high and no dams." She 
requests BLM to do a Wild and Scenic River study for 
all three forks of the American River. 

00628 Charles Washburn from Sacramento CA: 

'The report does a good job of applying the criteria for 
NRA eligibility and documenting that the five study 
segments, taken as a whole or in various combina- 
tions, easily meets the criteria. This conclusion of 
eligibility also matches my personal experience...." 

- however the report "...fails to adequately assess the 
scenic values of the North Fork within the Auburn 
Project Segment. I am not a rafter, but have visited 
many western rivers... — I have found the North Fork to 
be an absolutely sublimely beautiful place." 

- "...either the minimum pool or full scale reservoir 
would greatly reduce the quality of an American River 
NRA." 

00602 Thomas Winter from Sacramento, CA: is a 

frequent user of the American River canyons, and is a 
participant in the Tevis Cup horse ride and the Western 
States 1 00 Mile run which take place in the American 
River canyons. He states that 'The American River 
Canyons are the 'backyard' of many of the residents in 
the greater Sacramento Valley." 

- Mr. Winter feels that 'The historical values within the 
canyons are of great significance. ...Many ...are 
mentioned in documents prepared by the Department 
of Parks and Recreation, State of California ...and 
national register nominations may be possible for some 
of them as archaeological sites." 

- 'The ability to leave an urban area such as Sacra- 
mento, on trail, through natural areas (with original 
historic and scenic qualities), traverse the Sierra to 
Lake Tahoe, is a national treasure which must not be 
endangered by either a dam or other development." 

- "A large dam should not be considered as a possible 
part of a National Recreation Area since it would 
completely alter the ability of present users to take 
advantage of the above mentioned qualities of the 
existing trails." 

- Mr. Winter believes the proposed dam is not required 
because: 

• 200 year storm flood protection "...is an arbitrary 
number. The Federal standard in most cases is 
100 years." 

104 



• "Increased water storage is not a guarantee. ...If it 
doesn't rain and especially snow, then there is 
very little water to be stored. Water storage relies 
mostly on snow. Snow accumulates in the 
mountains and is released very slowly, but mostly 
late in the spring/early summer (June/July) after 
the biggest threat of flooding occurs (Feb/March). 
Reservoirs must be kept at a lower level until late 
in the spring when the heavy rains won't occur, 
then they can be topped up before summer. The 
California Department of Water Resources took a 
big gamble when they let Folsom Lake fill up 
during the winter of 1986, hoping to guard against 
the drought which has been plaguing California 
for years. When the heavy rains came in Febru- 
ary of 1986, a flood was narrowly averted." 

• "75% of the cost of the dam is to be paid for by 
the Federal government. Some taxpayers in 
Iowa and Florida will end up paying for it, along 
with everyone else." 

• "...Up to 2 billion dollars of federal money would 
be pumped in to the local economy which creates 
a boom and then bust economy over the few 
years of construction. The recent construction of 
a dam on the Stanislaus river was touted as 
being good for the economy of the area. Unfortu- 
nately after the river flooded, tourism created by 
the rafters stopped and has not been replaced by 
lake boaters." 

• 'The steepness of the canyons and the fluctua- 
tions of the lake level will emphasize the unsightly 
and extreme "batch tub ring" effect where wave 
action will erode the banks. This makes water- 
oriented recreation and construction difficult and 
expensive." 

• 'The local counties (Sacramento, Placer and El 
Dorado) are looking to increase their develop- 
ment ability with what essentially will be free 
water provided by the dam." 

• "Flood control for the Sacramento area can be 
achieved by strengthening the levies, and by 
changing the water release policies and modify- 
ing the existing Folsom Dam on the American 
River." 

00648 William Patterson Sacramento, CA: believes 
"If any of the flood control options are constructed, all 
the land subject to occasional inundation will suffer 
lasting effects to both the flora and fauna." 

- 'Temporary inundation is exactly the kind of distur- 
bance that favors a dramatic shift from native plants to 
introduced weeds and grasses." 



- 'The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just released 
a study and recommendation showing that a dam isn't 
needed at Auburn to protect Sacramento from flooding. 
They present ...a proposal ...which provides all neces- 
sary flood protection, allows for extensive future 
building, and avoids the mammoth environmental 
mitigation that any flood control or multi-purpose dam 
would require." 

- "...NRA would be much, much more significant and 
meaningful without any of the dam proposals." 

00547 Dmaris Whitehill from Meadow Vista, CA: 

believes "...it is time to let go of 'yesterday's' old tired 
dream of a major dam... to look at the alternatives for 
flood control that are available ...and to listen to the 
next generation. ...It was the next generation that I 
heard speaking out in favor of the NRA. ...The land, 
the canyon, the river are a priceless resource for what 
John Muir called our 'wilderness health'. It needs to be 
preserved, cherished and shared with the rest of the 
nation." 

- Mr. Whitehill also submitted an 'ABC book "...to 
easily emphasize the many things a NRA would help 
preserve for future generations." The book listed birds, 
animals, plants, cultural and historic sites, physical 
features and an array of recreational activities associ- 
ated with the American River canyons. 

00657 Caroline Klam from Arlington, VA: believes 
the American River fulfills the criteria for designation 
because "It provides significant recreational opportuni- 
ties", "...is accessible to more than 9 million people 
within a day-trip driving time", and "It has never been 
adequately developed for full recreational use..." 

- Ms. Klam also believes "...the area should be pre- 
served with free-flowing rivers and not covered under a 
dam-produced lake. The proposed Auburn Dam would 
destroy or interfere with many of the recreational and 
environmental opportunities and values which the 
designation of a National Recreation Area is designed 
to enhance." 

00623 Ellsworth and Margaret Rose from Sacra- 
mento, CA: favor NRA designation without the Auburn 
Dam. They believe "...Auburn Dam is a larger flood 
threat than no dam at all, because it would be built on 
a known earthquake fault..." 

- Instead, Mr. Rose proposes a "Dry Creek Breaking 
Controls" system in which small earthen dams, holding 
up to 14.9 acre-feet of water, would be built on the 
many small side streams that dry up by late spring. 
These small dams would hold storm flash run-offs from 
the higher plateaus, box canyons, meadows and 
ravines; thus preventing flooding downstream. 



- The water stored in these small reservoirs could 
provide water to the existing reservoirs "...in the driest 
part of the summer season when water is needed the 
most." 

06725 Mary Gale of Salinas, CA: believes that the 
American River NRA "should have all forks of the 
American River as free flowing rivers! We do not need 
the Auburn Dam for water or for flood control. If 
anybody really needed water in this area they could get 
from the New Melones Dam, but since nobody has 
bought that water, it obviously isn't needed. As for 
flood control, the no-dam alternative would still allow 
for adequate protection for Sacramento." Mary contin- 
ues "we need the NRA designation for the American 
River because the State of California has not provided 
enough facilities, especially on the North and Middle 
Forks, to meet the recreational needs of the thousands 
of people who enjoy outdoor activities here... We have 
lost too many such beautiful rivers in the past — lets not 
lose this one now!" 

00632 Matthew Buynoski from Palo Alto, CA: 

states "California has quite a few areas now available 
for flatwater boating/fishing... However, Class IV 
Whitewater during the peak summer recreational 
season is quite scarce... In sum, the dammed alterna- 
tives replace a relatively scare Whitewater resource 
with much more common flatwater." 

- "...there is already significant crowding on the South 
Fork of the American; loss of the Middle Fork 
Whitewater will make this worse. However, with a 
couple of modest improvements ... the Middle Fork 
could shoulder more of the load and possibly ease the 
overcrowding on the South Fork." 

- 'There was no mention of the rare and special 
aspects of riparian habitat, some of which exists in the 
lower reaches of the Middle Fork above its confluence 
with the North Fork. Such areas are now an extremely 
scarce resource in California. This may well be more 
of a conservation issue, but for that subset of potential 
users of the area who are amateur naturalists, e.g. 
birdwatchers, it can have recreational aspects as well." 

00455 Herb Tanimoto, a resident from Auburn 
Lake Trails In Cool, CA: who is a hiker, Western 
States Endurance trail runner, and historian supports 
the NRA "in the event that a high Auburn Dam is not 
built, the NRA is needed to insure against wholesale 
acquisition of BLM land by private developers. Run- 
ners, hikers, and horsemen have no desire to see 
'Private Property Keep Out' signs blocking the trails 
that they have used for decades." 



105 



- "strong possibility exists that there are significant 
historic sites not yet uncovered... the NRA designation 
will afford professionals the time needed to continue 
excavation and survey work." 

- 'the Middle Fork canyon above the confluence 
contained the greatest concentration of men and 
machinery of any river during the peak of the gold rush 
period. ..from trails above, one can look down at the 
twisting river and wonder in awe at the energy and 
resoluteness of the miners who toiled there." 

- "multitudes of areas of historic and recreational value 
in the NRA proposed canyonlands.. well maintained 
trail systems exist now to give access to all these 
places.. .NRA designation will help bring in more people 
to know the beauty that only a few of us know now." 

00618 John Jay Ulloth from Sacramento, CA: is 

opposed to any dam for safety and environmental 
reasons. 



area, destroying nine of twelve natural features on the 
American River... 

- "An Auburn Dam would flood a huge amount of 
wildlife habitat and human recreation..." 

- "It would also destroy nearly all the important identi- 
fied historical and archaeological sites..." 

- 'The American River National Recreation Area will be 
unique because it will include every elevation of the 
river, with all the different ecosystems it passes 
through on its descent. It will be like a cross-section of 
the entire region." 

00633 Mary Ann Kollenberg from Auburn CA: 

"...whole heartedly support an NRA designation for all 
five study areas. If this does occur, I hope the North 
and Middle Forks can be managed in a fashion sensi- 
tive to recreation, wildlife, natural, and culturally historic 
features." 



- Mr. Ulloth sites a discrepancy in the seismic design 
parameters at the site of the proposed Auburn dam. 
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a 3 foot dis- 
placement of the faults beneath the foundation of either 
dam proposal in a major seismic event. The Bureau of 
Reclamation estimates a 5 to 9 inch fault displacement. 

- "Loading a fault with the huge mass of a new dam 
and hydraulic effects of a reservoir is always an 
experiment." Instead, he suggests "the telephone 
networking of reserve capacity in existing upstream 
dams distributes the weight at many locations (far 
apart), and yields the same F.E.M.A required 100 year 
flood protection. And with superior watershed flexibility 
to a $1 billion dam." 

- He also suggests that "Local factors of diminished 
water storage over time, and a useful life of less than 
200 years should be factored into the cost/benefit ratio 
and life cycle cost of any dam proposal." 

- "American River's grandest canyons are threatened 
by proposals for a dam at Auburn ...that diminishes 
recreation uses and natural beauty..." 

- Mr. Ulloth believes a dam at Auburn will result in a 
"bathtub ring of rising and falling water 200+ feet high 
on the steep American (River) canyon walls", dead and 
drowned trees below the bathtub ring, erosion, and the 
end of Whitewater. 

07490 Greta Loeffelbein from Shingle Springs: An 

Auburn Reservoir would add little to the Sacramento 
region's reservoir-based recreation, but would drasti- 
cally diminish the already-rare free-flowing rivers in this 



- "Even though I understand you were not given the 
option of addressing an NRA alternative without a 
Dam, I sincerely feel a free-flowing American River will 
be extremely beneficial, both economically and spiritu- 
ally, today and in the many, many years still to come." 

- "Recreation and tourism are becoming increasingly 
more valuable for Placer County's economic base. 
This has been shown over and over with people 
moving and/or visiting here for what we presently have: 
a unique river filled with numerous recreational oppor- 
tunities, unspoiled natural areas, archaeological sites, 
gold mining, and our own diverse historic cultural 
resources." 

04955 Richard N. Prince from Georgetown, CA: 

states the draft is "not objective... it reflects the built-in 
biases found in the Congressman who sponsored 
Public Law 101-121 and the special interest groups 
who drafted the legislation. ..it's unabashed purpose is 
to stop Auburn Dam (and insure Whitewater rafting)..." 

- "inclusion of the American River Parkway and/or 
Folsom State Recreation Area in the NRA has any 
substantial benefit. These areas are under public 
ownership and management, and are well utilized by 
the community-at-large." 

- 'To add a layer of bureaucracy would seem to be 
redundant and inordinately expensive" 

- "It is premature to even consider NRA status until 
existing water development issues of the North/Middle 
Forks and South Fork are resolved." 



106 



- if an NRA is to be presented to Congress, it should 
be fair and impartial , and weigh all the various impacts 
(pro and con ), focusing on the local as well as regional 
or national needs... only then can the community be 
assured that their interests are represented, and an 
informed decision by the Congress will be in the best 
interests of the majority of the people." 

- Mr. Prince questions many aspects of the impacts of 
an NRA designation in his letter such as economic 
consequences, condemnation of property, riparian 
water rights and future water development which he 
feels was inadequately addressed. 

00605 John Siacotos from Newark, CA: felt that the 
Draft "...falls short of considering the full impact on El 
Dorado County, and the State of California and all the 
tax payers of the County and State." 

- Mr. Siacotos noted that "an additional 40,000 areas or 
more should be acquired and made a part of the NRA. 
...most of this new acreage would have to be acquired 
from private property owners on the So. Fork; it 
would... remove this private land from the tax rolls. The 
Draft does not indicate how this loss of tax revenue will 
be made up." 

- "...not much consideration has been given to future 
water needs of the State, particularly the northern part." 

- 'The draft is not specific as to what lands are in- 
tended to be acquired. 

- ...The entire concept lacks any good planning and is 
absolutely devoid of common sense and a waste of the 
tax payers' money." 

00637 C. Michael BuSlard from Pittsburgh, PA: on a 

kayaking and camping vacation "...was amazed at the 
rugged, isolated beauty of the Giant Gap and Cham- 
berlain Falls sections of the North Fork of the Ameri- 
can. They have an untouched beauty that is almost 
unknown on most eastern streams and rivers." 

- 'The designation of the American River as a NRA 
would provide a unique opportunity to preserve this 
experience for others to enjoy." 

- "Establishment of the NRA designation for the 
proposed area, however, would be meaningless unless 
the North, Middle and South Forks of the American 
remain free flowing streams. Additional impoundments 
on any of these streams would destroy the unique 
features which warrant the areas' designation as a 
NRA. Specifically, construction of the Auburn Dam 
would ruin the opportunity to establish a recreational 



"facility" which could serve the greatest number of 
people... nationwide." 

- Mr. Bullard also questions the benefit to cost ratio of 
Auburn Dam: 

• "Estimated unit cost for water and power ...range 
from $180 to $240 per acre-foot and $0.85 to ~ 
$0.1 15 per kilowatt hour, respectively. Both of 
these costs are in excess of what is available 
from other existing sources." 

• "If water and power from the Auburn project is 
sold for less than its actual cost who is respon- 
sible for paying for the difference?" 

• "Additionally, power from the Auburn Dam would 
supply under the best conditions only small 
fraction, 0.2 percent, of California's estimated 
power use in the year 2007." 

• 'The fact that twice the storage volume of the 
Folsom Reservoir will produce less than 1/1 00th 
the water yield should be a red flag warning that 
the dam is impractical and will have high marginal 
costs for the water ft produces." 

• "In reservoir projects where watershed develop- 
ment is in excess of about 30 percent of the total 
water yield, studies have shown that the system 
...is sensitive to multi-year droughts. These 
reservoirs... generally operate at levels lower than 
what would be considered full pool for extended 
periods of time." 

• "Excessive earth loadings caused by the im- 
poundment of water over an active fault, com- 
bined with lateral stresses induced by the dam on 
the surrounding mountains may increase earth- 
quake activity along the fault." 

00636 Mr. and Mrs. William S. Lewis Jr. from 
Lynwood, C4:"...are definitely opposed to the building 
of any dam that would in any way alter or affect the 
wild and rare beauty that is North and South forks of 
the American River. Anyone who's ever ridden the 
white waters of these rivers' rapids or camped along 
their banks and taken in the awesome natural splendor 
of these rivers must understand that to dam these 
rivers, to cut off their natural flows would ruin the 
beauty and destroy the delicate balance of the wildlife 
that the rivers support." 

00464 Diane Krage of Grass Valley, CA; focuses on 
the equestrian use of the American Canyon. She 
states why a Natural River-Based Recreation Area is 



107 



better than a Reservoir-Based Recreation Area for 
equestrian use for the following reasons: 

- "critical to have frequent access to water for cooling 
and watering purposes; the American River contains 
plentiful gravel/sand bars offering safe, relatively level 
access" 

- "More space due to linear nature of Recreation Area, 
over 50 miles of maintained trails" 

- "aesthetic values of free-flowing river channel far 
exceed those of lands adjacent to fluctuating reservoir" 

- "year-round accessibility to trails due to favorable 
climate" 

- "access to river, ability to cross or get into river at 
shallow spots VERY important" 

- Diane shares a quote from an article in Arabian Horse 
Country which states "this particular trail is indicated by 
the great interest in international endurance riding and 
the distinct possibility that it will become an Olympic 
Demonstration Sport in 1992 with an eye toward full 
Olympic acceptance in 1996." 

08499 Carol Neveu of Oakland, CA: shares a letter 
with us that she sent to her local representative 
Assemblyman Klehs. Carol strongly urges the opposi- 
tion of construction of the Auburn Dam and urges the 
support of the National Recreation Area. 

- "the river should be managed with an emphasis on 
recreation, wildlife ecosystems, and historical signifi- 
cance." 

- "It is time to seriously look at the water resources we 
have available and the total ecological impact of the 
population growth and water needs of the state as a 
whole. ..the urban sprawl is nibbling away at the 
agricultural edges and demanding increased water use 
for ornamental water and general household use." 

- "It has been documented recently that the California 
amphibian population is dwindling and can only get 
worse with alteration of the river. These amphibians 
are important to insect control, which left unchecked 
will cause increased diseases and blight within the 
agricultural community." 

- "...focus on mandatory water conservation measures 
and managed urban growth." 

04956 MimiJenrick of Rosevllle , CA: states that 
while she agrees with many of the reports findings, 
there are still gaps in the information given that must 
be filled before a decision on a NRA can be made: 

108 



"issues of the economic impact on surrounding com- 
munities, private property within the Recreation Area 
boundaries and the effects of infrequent inundations on 
the canyons" Also she would like to address the need 
for Federal help in managing of the area. Her concern 
focuses on the segment of the proposed Recreation 
Area that would be affected should a dam be built in 
Auburn. Miss Jenrick omments on State Parks ability 
to manage the area are addressed: 

- State Parks strategy has been to limit and discour- 
age access in an attempt to keep visitation down to a 
level they can control with a skeleton staff. 

- unable to control the littering, the dumping of old 
cars, the looting of historic artifacts and contain the 
growing numbers of people who use the canyons. 

- no signs on major roads directing people to the 
Auburn State Recreation Area 

- no signs directing people how to find trailheads or 
parking 

- roads damaged by slides and not repaired 

- illegal closures of roads by residents 

- imposed curfew and closures to teenage drinking 
parties which also penalize legitimate users of the 
Recreation Area. 

- written policy on trails is that each user group shall 
be responsible for the building and maintaining of trails 
which has contributed to degradation of the resource 
and conflicts between user groups. 

- low budget has kept State parks from developing 
facilities and a real plan for managing the area, but 
should the dam be built, they claim to have the budget 
to manage the area 

- Mimi Jenrick concludes that the real bias to the report 
is "that is was not allowed to study an undammed river 
as an alternative because politicians managed to write 
into the instructions that this could not be done. This 
arrogantly assumes that the dam decision has been 
made when it has not and deprives the public of the full 
spectrum of information needed to make a 
decision. ..my vote is for a National Recreation Area 
without a dam of any kind." 

00630 Judith Sayers from Cool, CA: "...questions 
why none of the local community Advisory Commit- 
tees: Georgetown, Cool-Pilot Hill, Greenwood, or 
Coloma-Lotus, were invited to participate on the 
Steering Committee, or included in the briefings, or 
even contacted by mail for their opinions." 



- 'The area simply does not have the significance to 
draw nationally and as such does not meet the primary 
requirement for an NRA designation." 

- "For another 'agency' to move in now with a new plan 
for the area as well as a new management structure, is 
a totally flagrant waste of taxpayers dollars." 

- 'This whole $300,000.00 process (BLM's study) was 
initiated for purely self serving and political reasons, 
i.e., commercial rafting interests and political propo- 
nents of a 'dry dam'. 

- 'The state needs water for agriculture purposes and 
for personal use. To hint of putting recreational needs 
above the needs of the people of the site who rely on 
the holding and/or usage of this water is absolutely 
ludicrous." 

00614 Joseph Flynn: "The establishment of a 
National Recreation Area would enlarge an already 
huge public land base in El Dorado County where over 
50% of the land area is already in Federal, State, 
School District, University of California, and local park 
ownership." 

- 'The establishment of a National Recreation Area 
also would foreclose development of water and hydro- 
electric generation between Chili Bar and Folsom 
Reservoir, a huge economic detriment not spoken to in 
the study. Water development was perceived by the 
people of California in a recent poll as absolutely 
essential if the State is to meet the needs of a growing 
population and alleviate suffering during periods of 
drought." 

00627 Russell Towle from Dutch Flat, CA: supports 
NRA designation for all five segments of the river. Mr. 
Towles believes "...the canyon architecture here so 
unusual, and so beautiful, as to have a truly national 
significance and value." In addition, the recreational 
values, wildlife, and many old mining and Native 
American sites make the North Fork especially worthy 
of NRA designation. 

- Mr. Towles suggests 'To protect the unique scenic 
experiences offered by this area, I believe rather 
extensive acquisition of lands and scenic easements is 
called for. ...these acquisitions should be engineered to 
preserve and enhance the Viewsheds' of the following 
scenic overlooks: 1. Lovers Leap, 2. Iron Point, 3. 
Casa Loma, 4. Giant Gap Ridge, 5. Bogus Point, 6. 
American View." 

00742 RoyE. Snyder of Carmichael, CA: disagrees 
with the recommendation of the NRA study regarding 
the inclusion of the South Fork Segment. 



- "the conclusions regarding the South Fork segment 
is flawed, based on exaggerated statistics and bias 
opinions. The white water usage figures (commercial 
rafting) are over stated..." 

- "the 40% Public Lands administered by BLM are 
made up of some of the most undesirable and 
unaccessible parcels along the South Fork which 
should have been brought out as part of the study." 

- "County of El Dorado has been doing an excellent 
job in managing the South Fork segment." 

00496 George Siren an Environmental Consultant 
from Cool, CA: is very concerned about the proposal 
to establish a NRA. He states "no consideration was 
given in the BLM feasibility study regarding the eco- 
nomic impact an NRA would have upon El Dorado 
County nor the effect of an NRA on property values or 
employment within the County." He continues to state, 
for the citizens of El Dorado County, that "we don't 
need an NRA designation and we certainly are vehe- 
mently opposed to the Federal Government taking 
property and income of private citizens for the transient 
recreational use of others... the study is utterly silent on 
issues that effect the lives and holdings of thousands 
of people." 

06859 Keith Caldwell: "...we believe the study fails to 
support its findings and recommendation. It appears 
the designation is not clearly stated and the purpose of 
the study is not substantiated by facts." 

- Mr. Caldwell objects to BLM managing state and 
county recreation areas and the condemnation of 
private residences and businesses along the South 
Fork. 

- "We oppose the NRA designation that could poten- 
tially become an additional obstacle to the construction 
of a multi-purpose dam." 

00639 Sidney Dennison from Auburn, CA: does 
"...not believe this canyon contains outstanding natural 
and cultural features nor does it provide significant 
recreation opportunities." 

- Mr. Dennision also believes the canyon is unsuitable 
for heavy recreation use, and the Auburn Project 
Segments will not draw national visitation. 

- The "Quantitative effect on recreation of stabilization 
of Folsom level and increased lower river flows should 
be pursued." 

- "Regulation can be very adequate under Beaches 
and Parks. NRA designation is not necessary. NRA is 
a ploy to stop the Auburn Dam." 

109 



110 



U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Folsom Resource Area 

63 Natoma Street 

Folsom, CA 95630 



OFFICIAL BUSINESS 

PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE, $300 



Forwarding and Return 

Postage Guaranteed, 

Address Correction Requested 




POSTAGE AND FEES PAID 

U.S. DEPARTMENT 

OF THE INTERIOR 

INT 415